Posted by on Oct 18, 2021 in STD Testing | No Comments

When Should I Get STD Testing If I Think I’ve Been Exposed?

No one likes to think about catching a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), but it’s a possibility for anyone who is sexually active.  This is why it’s important to get STD testing if you ever think you’ve been exposed to a disease!  The sooner you learn the truth, the sooner you can get treatment – if needed.

The issue is, different diseases have different incubation periods, so the length of time before they show up on a test will vary.  So, what do you do if you find out a previous sexual partner has a particular disease?

Here’s a quick breakdown of when you should get tested for some of the most common STDs.

How Long to Wait for An STD Test for Common Diseases


HIV can be difficult to detect because it has a long incubation period.  For a standard HIV test, you’d need to wait at least three months before it becomes detectable.  This is a long time to wait, unfortunately, but it’s simply how the disease works.

If you have a genuine concern that you’ve been exposed – such as a past partner being verifiably diagnosed with HIV – there are more expensive early detection RNA tests that can be performed after ten days.

2. Herpes

Like with HIV, there are two options here.  The less expensive option will require you to wait a minimum of ten days, possibly up to twenty days, for verifiable results.  There are also early-testing options that could potentially detect the virus as early as two days after exposure.  However, the basic test is generally a bit more accurate.

Of course, if you develop a sore you believe to be herpes-related, get STD testing immediately – if there are symptoms, it’s detectable.

3. Syphilis 

Syphilis is hard to predict – it can incubate for anywhere between ten to ninety days after exposure.  For most accurate results, you’d need to wait about three months before testing.  However, as with herpes, keep a lookout for symptoms such as unexplained genital rashes.  If there are symptoms, it’s active and detectable.

4. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Fortunately, these two are much more straightforward.  In both cases, the test will be accurate within four to five days after exposure.

Get STD Testing Today

In any case, if you believe you have been exposed to an STD, do not wait.  For the sake of yourself, and the sake of those around you, contact your local Pasadena urgent care clinic for discrete and affordable STD testing.


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