This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. I'm fine with this Cookie information

Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

If you think you have an STI, the earlier you’re tested the sooner you can be treated if needed. For more information watch the video.

Service Update

Sandyford continues to comply with Public Health guidelines. To ensure the health and safety of both patients and staff, we still require face masks to be worn at all times for those that are able. We remain an appointment only service for our clinics.

We are working hard to return to our normal service levels including reopening our Connect Hubs.

Please do not attend Sandyford if you have Mpox, COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of either. 

To find out if you can get tested at the moment and if you can book online, click here.

Private Testing

We are aware that some people are choosing to have an STI test through a private clinic or through a privately provided at home STI testing kit. Please note that Sandyford and Brownlee are unable to offer treatment to patients unless they have been tested by the NHS.  Therefore, if you are under taking a STI test in a commercial venue or at home you may wish to check if it is a NHS run project.

Testing Information in Community Languages

Why Test for STIs?

It's important to test if you have any symptoms that may be due to an STI but also if you've had a change in sexual partner or a partner has had an STI. Often people with STI’s have no symptoms so it is always worth being tested if there has been a risk of infection and you haven't tested recently.

Common STI symptoms
  • pain when you pass urine (pee) 
  • itching, burning or tingling around the genitals 
  • new discharge from the genitals or anus
  • blisters, sores, spots or lumps around the genitals or anus
  • bleeding between periods or after sex
  • pain during sex
  • lower abdominal pain
  • rash over the body with flu like symptoms
When to Test

If you have symptoms or had contact with an infection it is important to be seen as soon as possible. Please call us on 0141 211 8130 to make an appointment.

If you don’t have symptoms it can sometimes be better to wait to test as it can take some time for your body to show signs of infection for our tests to find. Please consider the information below before taking a test. If it's done too early it may not be accurate.

  • It can take two weeks after sex, for chlamydia and gonorrhoea to show up on a test
  • An HIV test is highly accurate 45 days (about 6 weeks) after sex
  • Syphilis can take up to 12 weeks to show up on a test after sex

If you are worried about the risk of HIV exposure in the last 72 hours please ring us on 0141 211 8130 as you may need treatment, PEP, to prevent infection.

How often to test ?

It’s a good idea for everyone who is sexually active to book a test for STIs and HIV once a year, whether you have one partner or more than one partner.

If you are changing partners, it’s advised to test at least every six months. Some people (listed below) should consider testing more often such as every 3 months.

  • people with high numbers of sexual partners
  • those using PrEP
  • gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who are changing partners
  • people involved in the commercial sex industry 

If your sex life changes, then your testing routine may have to change as well.

You may require a test sooner if you have symptoms. View the Sandyford "You think you may have a STI" video at the top of the testing for STI page. 

Our homepage also has advice on "time sensitive healthcare situations" that may require you to take a test sooner.

You should always consider testing window periods (the time between an infection being transmitted and it being able to be detected by the test):

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can take two weeks after sex for to show up on a test.

An HIV test is highly accurate 45 days (about 6 weeks) after sex.

Syphilis can take up to 12 weeks to show up on a test after sex.

If you are worried about the risk of HIV exposure in the last 72 hours please call us on 0141 211 8130 Monday to Friday 8.45 am to 4.15 pm as you may need treatment, PEP, to prevent infection.


How to Test

We've had to make some changes to testing. Click here to see if you can get testing with us at the moment. The tests are really easy to do. We will need to ask you some questions about your general health and sex life so we know which are the right tests to offer you. Generally, everyone getting testing will be offered chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV tests. Sometimes we test for further infections - if needed this will be discussed with you on the day. 

HIV and Syphilis is tested for by taking a blood sample

Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are tested for by swabs in women and in men a urine sample and, sometimes, swabs. We also have lots of testing options if you identify as trans or non-binary. If you don’t have symptoms you can take these samples yourself. 

My partner has had an STI

If a current or previous partner has contacted you after being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection please call phone number 01412118130 the appointment line for advice before booking an appointment online

How to take an anal swab

How to take a vaginal swab

How to take a throat swab

Manage your sexual health online

Book, cancel and reschedule sexual health testing appointments online. 

Please ensure that you arrive at Sandyford around 10 minutes before your appointment is due to start. This is so that you can register before you attend your appointment. 

Self-Testing Information

At many of our services we run test only clinics to make your routine sexual health check-up as easy and hassle free as possible. The practitioner seeing you will offer you a sexual health check; however, they will not be able to examine you or answer any clinical questions you may have about your sexual health or sexually transmitted infections. If you have any other needs or there are other supports required they will explain to you how to organise a more appropriate appointment for you to have these needs met by a member of the clinical team. If you do not have any symptoms you will not need to be examined by a practitioner. This means you can take your own Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea testing swabs. Including one or more of the following:

  • Urine sample
  • Self-Taken Throat Swab
  • Self-Taken Rectal Swab
  • Self-Taken Vaginal Swab

Information on common STIs


Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK and is easily passed on during sex. Most people don't experience any symptoms, so they are unaware they're infected. 


Gonorrhoea is a bacterial STI easily passed on during sex. About 50% of women and 10% of men don't experience any symptoms and are unaware they're infected.


Syphilis is a bacterial infection that in the early stages causes a painless, but highly infectious, sore on your genitals or around the mouth. The sore can last up to six weeks before disappearing.


HIV is a long term health condition which is now very easy to manage. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The virus targets the immune system and if untreated, weakens your ability to fight infections and disease.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is the same virus that causes cold sores. You will only be tested for HSV if you have ulcers.

Genital warts

Genital warts are small fleshy growths, bumps or skin changes that appear on or around your genital or anal area. There is no test available for genital warts. 



Please note the above links all direct to NHS Inform. For further information on these STIs, visit BASHH and West of Scotland Sexual Health MCN.

Getting your results

Your questions answered about getting your results after being tested. 

What to expect at Sandyford

All the information you need about your visit to Sandyford. Before, during and after the appointment.