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Teen Safe Sex: Types of STD Tests

March 14, 2014

STD tests for sexually transmitted diseases

This list sets out the common types of STD tests that can be performed. Teens who are sexually active should take the STD tests at the recommended times. For girls, STD tests must be expressly requested by you as these tests may not automatically be carried out during a gynecologic examination or when a pap smear sample is taken.

  • STD tests for chlamydia:
    • this STD test is done through a urine sample or a swab sample from the cervix of a woman and from inside the penis of a man.
    • time to take the STD test is once a year even if there are no symptoms or signs of chlamydia unless there has been no sexual activity since the previous test was done.
  • STD tests for gonorrhea:
    • similar to an STD test for chlamydia, this STD test is also done through a urine or swab sample.
    • time to take the STD test is once a year even if there are no symptoms or signs of gonorrhea unless there has been no sexual activity since the previous test was done.
  • STD tests for genital herpes:
  • this STD test is usually done through a genital swab or tissue sample of a sore or ulcer or through a blood sample.
  • it is hard to get tested for genital herpes because the virus may still be present even if the test result comes back negative for genital herpes.
  • STD tests for human papillomavirus (HPV)
    • there are a few types of HPV, some of which can cause cervical cancer and others can cause genital warts.
    • HPV is also linked to cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis and anus.
    • STD tests for HPV in men arre not available. The infection is diagnosed by visual inspection or biopsy of a genital wart only.
    • In women, STD tests for HPV include:
      • pap smear; and
      • HPV test.
    • as a teen, HPV testing is not usually conducted because most sexually active teens have HPV infection which clears up on its own after a while. Testing is recommended for women over the age of 21.
  • STD tests for syphilis and hepatitis:
    • STD test for syphilis is done through a blood sample or a genital swab. Hepatitis testing is done through a blood sample.
    • if you test positive for either chlamydia or gonorrhea, you are recommended to get tested for syphilis and hepatitis as well.
    • if you have more than one sexual partner since your last STD tests, you are also recommended to get tested for syphilis and hepatitis.
  • STD tests for HIV:
    • STD test for HIV is done through a blood sample.
    • you should be tested for HIV if:
      • you tested positive for either chlamydia or gonorrhea;
      • you have more than one sexual partner since your last STD tests;
      • you use intravenous (IV) drugs, or
      • you have anal sex.

Home kits for STD tests

Home kits for STD tests are available. You will be able to collect a urine sample or a genital swab and send it to a laboratory for analysis. Results will usually be available in a few days.

Home STD testing sometimes generates a false-positive result showing that you have an STD when you actually don’t have. If you do get a positive result, double-check the result with your doctor by having the STD tests carried out with the doctor or health care provider.

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For more information on Teenage Pregnancy, see our Teenage Pregnancy section.