Condoms provide by far the best protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but they still don’t provide 100% protection. Even if you always use a condom, it may be a good idea to get tested for STIs.

There are different STIs and they can affect you in different ways. Untreated STIs have a negative impact on the body, sometimes without the person noticing. If you have an STI it could also increase your susceptibility to other STIs and HIV. So it’s a good idea to get tested regularly, even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms of an infection. By getting tested, you take control of your own health.

Safer sex means making a conscious effort to minimize the risk of transmitting STIs. Keeping an eye on your own health is a good start. If you know you have an STI you can do something about it – such as get treatment, but you can also avoid passing it on. Many STIs have no visible symptoms, so many people don’t realize they have one, but they can still be bad for your health and be passed on to others.

Most infections can be cured and are easy to treat if they’re discovered in time. Untreated STIs also increase susceptibility to HIV. Testing can also put your mind at ease. If you’re worried or just want to check, go and get tested!

Everyone has an HIV status, but not everyone is certain what it is, whether or not they are carrying HIV. The only way of taking control and avoiding uncertainty is to get tested. There are many benefits of having this control, from avoiding uncertainty for yourself and your sexual partners, to being able to start effective treatment at the right time if it turns out you do have the HIV virus. Many people who have HIV today catch it from someone who doesn’t realize they have it. Testing is also an excellent opportunity to talk to a knowledgeable advisor and get answers to any queries you may have about sex and safer sex. Seize this opportunity to get personal advice about your sexual health! Several clinics now offer testing with quick results, so you get the results after just 30 minutes rather than waiting a week.

There’s not that much to think about before you get tested. Find a place and make an appointment, or find a drop-in clinic. Don’t pee just before your test time. This section provides useful information about testing and stuff.

You are entitled to free testing and treatment for HIV and most sexually transmitted infections. Testing has a short shelf-life which means that it is outdated by the next time you have sex. Regular testing gives you better control over your own health. Testing provides information about the situation at the time of testing. It doesn’t offer any protection, either now or in the future. It does, however, give you an opportunity to find ways to reduce risks and therefore increase your peace of mind. Condoms provide the most effective protection against infections.

If you want to get tested for HIV it’s important to remember that it can take up to three months before it’s detectable in an HIV test.

To ensure you’re tested in the right places of your body, it’s important to say where you want to be tested (obviously this depends on how you have had sex – but you don’t have to say how you’ve had sex) before testing, as STIs can occur in the throat, cock/pussy and ass.

You always have the right to remain anonymous during HIV testing. If, however, you later turn out to be HIV positive, you can no longer remain anonymous to the medical staff.

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