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The PAP test (or PAP smear) is a routine cervical cancer screening test. In British Columbia, women aged 25 and over are encouraged to get a yearly PAP test to screen for early, pre-cancerous changes to the cervix.
When women get their PAP test done they can ask for STI screening as well, but it is not done automatically. The PAP is done by swabbing the cervix and STI testing can be done by swabbing the vagina.
The STIs than can be tested for in the vagina are: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis.
Other STIs, such as HIV and Syphilis, require a blood test.
Note: If you are having symptoms of an STI (for example: unusual vaginal discharge, painful urination, bleeding between periods) then should you wait to have your PAP test done. If you get your PAP done while you have an STI it can affect the results.
Both PAP and STI testing can be done with your family doctor, at a walk-in clinic, or at an STI clinic. Check-out our Clinic Finder to find an STI clinic near you.
Hope this helps,
This answer was posted on May 2, 2017