This page is designed to help you to choose the right STD, STI and HIV tests for you. However, everyone's circumstances are different. It is your responsibility to choose the tests that are right for you, depending on your sexual activity and what you know about your partner.
I had oral sex
Certain STIs can be transmitted through the mouth. This is more likely if the person who performed oral sex had a cut or sore in their mouth, or if you have a cut or sore on your genitals. Most commonly, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are passed through oral sex.
Increasingly, Syphilis is being transmitted through oral sex. You are at risk of HIV, although this is rare.
We would suggest that you have a Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea throat swab, a Syphilis blood test and an HIV test. If you think the person who performed oral sex had a cold sore, we would also suggest a Herpes test.
I had sex with a sex worker
Sexual intercourse with a sex worker is one of the most high-risk sexual activities there is. This is because of the large number of partners that each sex worker has, and many clients visit more than one sex worker, so it is easy to see how infection can be spread quickly.
Some sex workers are also injecting drug users, which can increase their chances of being infected with an STI or HIV passed on by contaminated blood (sharing needles). If you have had sex with a sex worker, have reason to suspect that they might be a drug user, you did not use a condom, you had an open cut or sore on your genitals and/or there were blisters or sores on your partner, you should consider the Better2Know Platinum Screen or Full Screen.
If your incident was less than 28 days ago, you can opt for the Early Platinum Screen which detects the widest range of STIs including HIV at just 14 days.
I had a one-night stand and I need results quickly before I pass anything on to my partner
The first thing is that you should not have sex with anyone until you get tested and your results confirm that you did not contract an STI. We have an incubation or window period for all our tests - this is the time that needs to pass before any STI or STD will be detectable, but you can still transmit an infection during this period. In this situation, when you want results as quickly as possible, we would recommend our screens that can detect infections with the shortest incubation period. These are:
- Early Platinum Screen (at 14 days after any incident) testing for eleven STIs
- Early Detection Screen (at 10 days after any incident) testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
- Comfort Screen (at 14 days after any incident) a urine-only test detecting Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes I and II, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Trichomonas and Gardnerella
- Peace of Mind Screen (at 14 days after any incident) testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis
You may also wish to consider Better2Know's wide range of instant tests, with results available in around 20 minutes while you wait in the clinic.
We just touched a lot, but we did not have sex
Some STIs and STDs can be passed on through bodily contact alone. It is unlikely that you will catch or pass on HIV unless you both had cuts on your body and these touched, but there is also a possibility of transmitting Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C through physical contact.
If you are worried that you might have been exposed to an STD or STI by touching your partner intimately, you can choose our Early Detection Screen which will test for these infections at just ten days.
One of the most common STIs passed on through touch is the HPV virus which can cause Genital Warts and cervical cancer in women, as well as other cancers of the mouth, throat, anus and penis. HPV testing is available for women at any time. Men must have a visible wart or request a urethral or anal swab.
Herpes, both type I (usually found around the mouth) and type II (usually found around the genitals), can be passed on when touching any infected area. We can test for Herpes by blood if you have no symptoms, or by urine or a swab of the area if you do have symptoms.
Syphilis can also be passed on by touch if your partner had an open Syphilis sore.
If you have a lump, blister or bump that you are not sure about, Better2Know would recommend the Blemish Screen which will take a swab of the area to determine whether it is caused by Herpes, HPV or Syphilis.
I had a needle stick injury at work
Needle stick injuries are usually caused when a health care worker accidentally has their skin broken by a needle or syringe which may have come from an infected patient or other source. They can also be common with professionals who work with patients in a health or social care setting, such as social care and legal staff.
First of all, try to access PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) within 72 hours of the injury. You should also try to have a Hepatitis B vaccine. The sooner the better. This can minimise your chances of contracting HIV if you have come into contact with HIV+ blood.
With needle stick injuries, the most common concern is around blood borne STIs and STDs which include HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and, less frequently, Syphilis.
If you have had a needle stick injury, we can test for these STIs at just ten days after any potential infection with our Early Detection Screen and an additional test for Syphilis.
It is recommended that you follow this up at 28 days and 8 to 12 weeks with testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
I cannot really remember what happened
If you do not really know what happened and you have not got any symptoms or outward signs of infection, Better2Know would suggest the Full Screen.
If you have blemish, spot, lump or blister, we would suggest that you have a Blemish Screen which will take a swab of the area you are concerned about and test for Herpes, HPV and Syphilis.
If you are female and have unusual discharge or odour, we would suggest a Comfort Screen or a vaginal swab.
I / we want to have a baby
Before considering having a baby, it is really important to be certain that you are not carrying any STIs. These infections can easily be passed on to your baby before they are born or during the birth. They can also make it more difficult for you to get pregnant.
If you are considering donating sperm, you should also get tested to be certain you are not passing any infection on to the mother.
Both men and women should have a Full Screen and should also be tested for HPV and Herpes before planning any pregnancy. These tests will pick up the most common STIs. After you have finished all appropriate treatment, you can start trying to have a baby.
Testing for HIV is particularly important. Left untreated, an HIV infection can lead to serious complications and even death. It is also important to test for HIV before pregnancy because, with the right treatment, the chances of passing on the infection to your baby can be minimised.
I am pregnant / just found out I am pregnant: What should I do now?
If you find out you are pregnant and have not had any tests for possible STIs, it is important that you get yourself tested now. There are many STIs that may have no symptoms but will still affect your pregnancy and could even harm your unborn child.
Infections such as HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, Herpes and HPV can all be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or birth. Some of these infections along with Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma and Gardnerella can lead to early rupture of the membranes and pre-term birth.
In the case of HIV, with effective treatment you can minimise the chances of passing this potentially life-threatening illness on to your child, so get tested right away.
Better2Know would suggest that you have a Full Screen or Platinum Screen to be sure you are being tested for all likely STIs. Consider an HPV test too, as this can be passed on from mother to child and, if left untreated, can lead to several types of cancers.
I only slept with him or her once
It only takes one time to catch an STI. Of course, the chances are higher if you have multiple partners, but if you sleep with someone without knowing whether they are infected then once is all it takes.
If you have no symptoms or outward signs of infection, Better2Know would suggest the Full Screen.
If you have a blemish, spot, lump or blister, we would suggest that you have a Blemish Screen which will take a swab of the area you are concerned about and test for Herpes, HPV and Syphilis.
If you are female and have unusual discharge or odour, we would suggest a Comfort Screen or female swab.
My ex has told me they have an STI: What should I do?
Try to find out what they have tested positive and negative for. If they have one STI or STD, there is a chance that they have more than one. They may not have been tested for the full range of STDs and STIs that Better2Know tests for. In most sexual health clinics, the standard tests are for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, HIV and Syphilis only.
We suggest that you test for whatever your ex-partner tested positive for, along with a full range of other STIs. If you are not sure or do not want to ask, Better2Know recommends the Full Screen which includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma.
The condom broke
We understand how worrying this is and how common it is. It is frustrating when you have done the right thing and get let down by the equipment. As far as your STI testing needs are concerned, both of you should have a Full Screen, as infection could go both ways.
If you think that your risk of HIV is low, you may want to consider the Peace of Mind Screen which tests for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis at just 14 days after any incident you are concerned about.
I have had / given anal sex
It is very easy to pass on STDs and STIs including HIV by anal sex as the lining of the rectum is very thin and delicate, and so small tears and cuts are quite common. Better2Know would suggest a Full Screen.
For those receiving anal sex, Better2Know would recommend a Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test of your rectum. This test would take a small swab from your rectum, and your results would be ready in two days.