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Apr 11
National Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Awareness Month Blog: When should you be tested?

Many sexually transmitted infections (sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or STI) don't cause any symptoms. If you're having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and it's the only way to know for sure if you're infected.


Yearly STI testing is recommended for:

  • All sexually active persons under the age of 25

  • People who have had unprotected sex

More frequent testing (every 3 to 6 months) is recommended for people at high risk, these include:

  • People with multiple partners

  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)

You should also get tested:

  • When you are pregnant

  • 3 months after treatment for any sexually transmitted infection

  • Every time you have a new sex partner and are unsure of the partner's status

All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV and anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.

If you're not comfortable talking with your regular healthcare provider about STI testing, find a clinic near you that provides confidential and free or low-cost testing. 

Click here for a list of free and confidential STI testing clinics in Boston.

You can also find a testing site near you by calling the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050 or visit https://www.helpsteps.com.

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Boston Public Health Commission
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Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org