Talking to a doctor about getting an STI test? Here’s how!
How do you talk to a doctor about getting an STI test? Can any doctor do it?
We’re glad you asked! Seeing a doctor to get tested is an essential part of protecting yourself and your partners, and stopping the spread of STIs — so it’s important to know who to see and how to talk about it.
1. Find the right doctor for you
Your regular doctor can do an STI test, but they usually don’t specialise in sexual health, and they may not be familiar with the specific needs of guys who have sex with guys.
A dedicated sexual health service may be a better option. A doctor at a sexual health service will have experience and specialist knowledge about sexual health and STI testing.
To find a sexual health service near you, use our interactive map. For more information about choosing the right doctor for you, check out our information video with Dr Vincent Cornelisse.
Choosing a healthcare provider
2. If you want to get tested for a specific reason, say so
If you’ve been notified by a sexual partner that you’ve been exposed to an STI or if you have any symptoms (or even if you’re not sure), tell your doctor. They will be able to make much better decisions about your health care if they know exactly why you’re there.
3. Ask for a comprehensive STI test
Make sure you ask for a comprehensive STI test. This will include tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. If you’re HIV-negative or you don’t know your HIV status, it will also include a test for HIV.
A comprehensive STI test may also include testing for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Want to know more about getting tested? Here’s how!
4. Be completely honest
Anything you tell your doctor is confidential. Be completely honest about what sort of sex you’ve had, your number of partners, any HIV and STI protection strategies you have or haven’t used (such as condoms and lube, PrEP, or relying on a partner’s undetectable viral load), and any symptoms.
5. Ask questions
If you have questions – ask! Even if it’s just for some peace of mind, talking to a doctor in person is one of the best ways to get informed about your sexual health.
To get you started on the right track for what to know about, check out Emen8’s Knowledge Hub for the lowdown on HIV, STIs, testing, treatment, prevention and symptoms!
And that’s all there is to it. For more information about finding the right doctor for you, how to talk to your doctor and what to expect, check out our full information session with Dr Vincent Cornelisse.