[Question #6416] Testing Conclusive

14 months ago

Just started a new relationship so wanted to be sure I was clear of all possible STDs at the jump.

I'm a Male, age 41.

My partner and I have both took 10 Test STD panels at 4, 7 and 12 weeks (84 days exactly).  We have not had any contact with anyone in the last 12 weeks.

Before this I've had mostly all protected encounters in the last 10 years, but can recount a few times where unprotected oral and vaginal intercouse occured without known status of partner.

All tests were:

HIV1/2 by 4th Gen Antigen/Ab
HSV1/2 by Herpeselect
Hep A,B, C
Syphillis RPR

All my tests at all 3 times (4 week, 7 week, and 12 week) came back all negative.  They were taken at Quest Laboratory. 

Syphillis-Non Reactive
4th Gen HIV- Non Reactive
Clam/Gon---Not Detected
HSV 1/2-- both <.90 (Negative)
HEP A,B,C--all negative

I've never had any symptoms of any kind other than some mild penile skin burning and irritation after my last encounter about 12 weeks ago, but I can easily attribute that too anxiety as it was unprotected oral and now that I've met someone I want to be clear so I can move on.  It goes away when I'm not paying attention. No sores, lesions, discharge, etc.....ever.

Is there any reason to perform any more tests for anything or can I safely assume I'm in the clear.

The main driver behind this questions is the online service I chose (stdcheck.com) told me everything at 12 weeks was "conclusive", but then on a live chat session just checking in on my final test results I asked if of there is any reason to test anymore and that person said "our Doctors recommend retesting in another 6-12 weeks to confirm testing accuracy".  I've read on tons of forums (including this one) 12 weeks is fine for everything.

Please advise....is this just a money grab by the testing site?

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
14 months ago
Welcome to the forum. I happened to log about the time your question came in:  most questions don't get nearly real-time replies!

All those tests are conclusive. I'll discuss some nuances below, but you can go forward with confidence you have none of the infections for which you were tested. I was unaware that the official advice from stdcheck.com is for testing beyond ~3 months for any of these infections. It suggests they haven't updated their advice for at least 10-15 years; that whoever sets the policy is behind the times and not in sync with the test technologies used by Quest and the other labs they contract with, and out of sync with almost all STD/HIV experts; or maybe your "money grab" theory is correct, i.e. a marketing ploy to induce worried people to use their services again. 

OK, I got that off my chest. Thanks for the opportunity!

The nuance comments I alluded to:  First, the single most common STD is HPV infection. You weren't tested -- but anyway no accurate testing is approved by FDA or recommended by experts. Everybody gets HPV and you can assume you've had it and could still be infected. Your partner should follow standard guidelines for periodic pap smears, but otherwise no worries. Second, apparently no test for trichomonas, also quite common -- but pretty much harmless, so in absence of symptoms (abnormal vaginal discharge) it probably doesn't matter. Third, 30% of people with HSV1 don't develop positive blood tests, and half of all adults in the US have it -- so you could still have HSV1. But if so, probably oral not genital; and little or no transmission risk in absence of an obvious outbreak. Fourth, if you're ever tested in the future, see if you can negotiate a lower price by deleting the tests for hepatitis A and C viruses:  there is no ongoing carrier state for HAV, so testing only is useful in presence of symptoms suggesting hepatitis; and HCV, contrary to popular beliefs, is not an STD in heterosexuals, who have no elevated risk unless they also are injection drug users.

The bottom line is that you have nothing to worry about and can safely continue your new relationship without worry or concern.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

14 months ago
10-4.  Got it on the HPV and Trich.

Regards to HSV1.....never had a cold sore in my life....so does this change outlook to better with never a symptom AND a negative test?


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
14 months ago
Those factors add up to a pretty low chance you have HSV1, but not zero. I don't see that it matters.---