You are here
Thanks for writing.
Unfortunately, the only way to know if you have an STD (or not) is to get tested.
Like you mentioned, some STDs don’t create any symptoms, and it’s not possible to tell if someone has an STD based on the presence or absence of symptoms.
Further, there is no timeframe by which we can say a person would have either cleared, or become aware of having, an STD. We know that some STDs like Syphilis and Chlamydia can live in the body for years without creating symptoms… In the case of syphilis this can even be 20-30 years!
That said, condoms protect against most STDs, so the chance of getting an STD from protected sex is much lower than that of unprotected sex. However, some STDs (like Syphilis) are passed through skin-to-skin contact, which can occur even when using a condom.
If you’re concerned that you have been exposed to an STD we would recommend getting tested. Testing can be easy and confidential, and can be done with your regular family doctor, at a walk-in clinic, or at an STD Clinic. For a list of STD clinics near you check out our Clinic Finder page.
Hope this helps. Please feel free to comment below or submit another question as needed.
This answer was posted on June 28, 2017