We've all been there. Taking risks is part of life. How bad is it? Should you get tested? If you are in a sexually active period, or running other risks, you should consider testing yourself regularly.

When should you test?

Any sexually active person should protect themselves and their partners by testing once per year. Condoms don't 100% protect you from contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Many people forget that oral and anal contact are also unsafe when done without protection.

Additionally, test yourself if you:

  • Want to start clean after coming out of a relationship
  • Plan to stop using condoms when dating turns into a relationship
  • Are considering becoming pregnant (or as a man: planning to have a baby with your partner)
  • Have symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease
  • Have been in touch with blood from untrusted sources
  • Were raped or sexually abused (stating the obvious: please also find professional support)

Get tested every 6 months when you:

  • Are having unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • Frequently use drugs or alcohol to the point where it's hard to remember what you did

Test for STDs every 3 months if you:

What happens on the street stays on the street
  • Use needle drugs
  • Are a sex worker