Should I get tested for STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have some nasty side effects that can range from sores to warts to discharge to pelvic inflammatory disease that can leave some women infertile. If you have sex, it’s a good idea to get tested for the STIs gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV. The test for gonorrhea and chlamydia is really simple; all you have to do is pee in a cup. (Another way to test for these STIs is a swab of the cervix, similar to a Pap test.) The test for HIV involves pricking a finger for a few drops of blood. You can be tested for HIV anonymously. You may want to be tested for other STIs depending on your symptoms; talk to your health care provider about whether other tests are a good idea. It’s also a good idea to get tested before you start sleeping with someone new—ask your new partner to get tested, too.

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