Even if you have no symptoms, you could still have a good reason to be tested for one or more sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In particular, if you have had high-risk sexual relations, without a condom or if the condom broke, or if you believe you have engaged in any other activity or behaviour that seems risky, you should be tested.
The recommended periods between engaging in the risky activity and getting tested for the most common STIs are as follows:
* For herpes, the highest rates of confirmation and identification result from cultures performed in the first 24-48 hours following onset of herpes sores - even moreso when the lesions are still intact. However, a serology (blood test) can be performed 8 to 12 weeks follwing the risky activity. To read more about herpes...
** For HPV, incubation generally lasts roughly one to eight months, although much longer periods, up to several years or even decades, have been observed.
Certain people can contract HPV, but their bodies fight it effectively and they display no symptoms. These people are unaware that they carry the virus, and develop lesions only when their immune system is weakened by age, illness or medical treatment. Consequently, it’s difficult to know when and from whom you acquired HPV. To read more about HPV and condylomas...
In general, we recommend that any person who has sexual intercourse be tested at least once a year, or more depending on your risk factors. Your doctor can help you evaluate these risk factors and determine with you the frequency of your screenings, for example every six months, every three months, etc.