Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How often should I get an STD check?"
Should I do it annually like my HIV test?
The frequency of STD checks varies greatly between patients and doctors. There are no strict guidelines that say that certain people should be checked every so often other others at another frequency. In general, I screen women for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year when I do their pap smears. I also screen them if they have any new symptom such as cervical pain or vaginal discharge. I typically only do HIV tests once, then repeat them when requested by the patient, or yearly in my patients that are engaged in high risk behavior. This type of behavior would include intravenous drug use and unprotected sex with more than one partner. An HIV test annually is probably not necessary in most people. I do not routinely screen for syphilis in women. I also do not routinely screen men for anything except HIV when appropriate. The reasons for this is that the majority of men have symptoms when they get an STD which warrants treatment. Some men request screening, and that can also be done. I suggest that you bring this issue up with your primary care physician. The two of you can discuss you specific risk factors and come up with an acceptable screening schedule that will make sure you are clean. Good luck.
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