[Question #5038] Testing window

25 months ago
I had unprotected sex with someone that wasn’t my partner 4 days ago and have been worrying nonstop about STD’s since. I want to get tested tomorrow but worry about incubation periods and not having accurate results. Is it worth getting it done now or will it not be worth it since the accuracy will be low? I’m not sure what to do and I’m scared to have sex with my partner until I know if I have anything - but waiting 6 weeks doesn’t seem practical plus I may die from anxiety before then! 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
Welcome to the Forum. I'll be glad to help.  The encounter you describe was low risk- most people do not have STIs and even when they do, most unprotected exposures do not lead to infection.   Laboratory testing at 5 days will provide accurate/conclusive information regarding the most common STIs- chlamydia, trichomonas, and gonorrhea.  For other STIs- syphilis or HIV, testing will not be conclusive until 6 weeks after the event.  You do not say much about your partner but these diseases (syphilis and HIV) are very rare among heterosexual men.

We strongly recommend against blood testing for herpes following a casual encounter of the sort you describe

Another definite way to rule out any possibility that you were exposed to an STI would be to ask your partner to get tested.  If his tests (including HIV and syphilis) are negative, you can be confident that you were not exposed.  

I hope these comments are helpful.  EWH
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25 months ago
Thank you for the reassurance. For peace of mind I went in today for a urine test. It was mid stream, and after reading online I’m not worried it should’ve been first catch, do you know if this would still be accurate?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
As you know, initial void urines are the preferred specimen for STI testing but typically a mid-stream urine will accurately reflect infection if present.  If you choose to re-test, currently a self-obtained vaginal swab is the most accurate specimen for testing for common STIs.  EWH---
25 months ago
It came back negative after 5 days - though mid stream. Should I stop worrying now or retest? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
My advice would be to stop worrying at this time and not re-test.

I hope my comments have been helpful.  As this is my 3rd response, as per forum guidelines, this thread will be closed later today without additional responses.  Take care.  EWH
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