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How often should I 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 as you may need treatment, PEP, to prevent infection.