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When to test

It’s a good time to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when:

  • You have a new sexual partner(s).
  • You or your partners have other sexual partners and it's been more than three to six months since your last test.
  • You notice any changes in your body.
  • You had sex with someone who has an STI.
  • You had sex without a condom or the condom broke.

Think about the "window period"

The window period is the time between getting an infection and when a positive result will show up on a test.

It is important to know about window periods because tests done too early may not be accurate. In other words, a negative test result may not actually be negative if the test is done too soon after a sexual contact.

Depending on the STI and the type of test used, the window period may be anywhere from a few days to six months. Use our STIs At A Glance chart to find out the window periods for different STIs to help you know when to get tested.

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STI, HIV, testing, window period
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