When to Get Tested
One of the frequent questions that people have about sexual health testing is when is it safe to get tested? Essentially, you can get tested at any time but infections have an incubation period and a negative result may be produced even if you have the infection but you get tested in the incubation window. Each infection is different but as a general rule, it is recommended that you wait 14 days after a perceived risky event. If you are getting tested for HIV then the period may be longer and this depends on the type of testing used. If you get tested in the incubation window and your result is negative, you will always be advised to get tested again.
In the UK there are GUM clinics in most urban hospitals where you can walk in and take a test. Your result will be sent to you by text message if it is negative but a positive result normally leads to a call from one of the STI clinic staff. The time that you need to wait for your results will vary but some people have to wait around 10 days for results to come through. This can be a worrying time so many people choose to take a private test where results are normally much quicker. Most private clinics take around 2 – 3 days to get results back from the lab.
We have found one clinic in London’s Harley Street that offers a very fast service for a premium price. A Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test will take under 4 hours to process but the cost of that is £69.95. The STI Clinic also offers a 24 hour Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test for £39.95, so substantially cheaper and still quite fast compared with other sexual health clinics. You can find details of the fast testing service here. You can access the 24 hour test on the same page.
If you are looking for a free service then you can find a listing on this website for free online and walk-in clinics. You may have to wait longer for your results but this is much better than not getting tested at all.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are both on the rise in the UK and it is recommended that 16-24 year olds get tested at least once a year and every time that they change partners. We believe that too much focus has been put on this age group and everyone should follow the same recommendation if they are sexually active.