This page is to help you to choose the right STD, STI and HIV test for you. However, everyone's circumstances are different, and it is your responsibility to choose the tests that are right for you depending on your sexual activity and what you know about your partner.
If you are unsure then Better2Know recommends a Full Screen or the Platinum Screen. Once is enough to catch an STD, STI or HIV.
I’ve received / given oral sex
Certain STDs and STIs can be transmitted through the mouth. This is more likely if the person who gave you oral sex had a cut or sore in their mouth or if you have a cut or sore on your genitals. Most commonly these are Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, but can also include HIV, although this is rare.
We would suggest that you have Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and an HIV test. If you think the person who gave you oral sex had a cold sore, then we would also suggest a Herpes test.
I had sex with a sex worker
Sexual intercourse with a sex worker is one of the most high-risk sexual activities. This is due to the large number of partners that each sex worker has. Many clients visit more than one sex worker, so it is easy to see how infection can spread very quickly.
Some sex workers are also injecting drug users which can increase their chances of being infected with an STD, STI or HIV. Some STIs can be passed on by sharing blood, which can happen by sharing needles.
If you have had sex with a sex worker, did not use a condom, had an open cut or sore on your genitals and/ or there were blisters or sores on your partner, or have reason to suspect that they might be a drug user, then you should consider our Platinum Screen or Full Screen. If the incident occurred less than 28 days ago, you could opt for the Early Platinum Screen which can detect the widest range of STIs and STDs at just 14 days.
I had a one-night stand and I need results quickly before I pass anything on to my partner
Firstly, you should not have sex with anyone until you get tested and your results confirm that you did not contract an STD. We have an incubation or “window” period for all our tests. This is the time that needs to pass before any STI or STD will be detectable, but you can still transmit any infection during this period. In this situation, when you want results as quickly as possible, we would recommend our screens that can detect infections with the shortest incubation period. These are:
- Early Platinum Screen (at 14 days after any incident) - results in 5 days from when your sample is received in the laboratory.
- Early Detection Screen (at 10 days after any incident) - results in 3 days from when your sample is received in the laboratory.
- Comfort Screen (at 14 days after any incident) - results in 5 days from when your sample is received in the laboratory.
- Peace of Mind Screen (at 14 days after any incident) - results in 2 days from when the sample is received in the laboratory.
We just touched a lot, but we didn’t have sex
Some STIs and STDs can be passed on through bodily contact alone. It is unlikely that you will catch or pass on HIV unless you both had cuts on your body and these touched, but there is also a possibility of transmitting Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C through physical contact.
If you are worried that you might have been exposed to an STD or STI by touching your partner intimately, then you can choose our Early Detection Screen which will test for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C at just ten days post-exposure.
One of the most common STIs passed on through touch is the HPV virus which can cause cervical cancer in women and Genital Warts in men and women. It can also cause cancers of the mouth, throat, anus and penis. HPV testing is available for women at any time, but men must have a visible wart or area to swab.
Herpes, both type I (usually found around the mouth) and type II (usually found around the groin) can be passed on when touching any infected area. We can test for Herpes by blood (if you have no symptoms) and urine or a swab of the area if you do have symptoms.
Syphilis can also be passed on by touch if your partner had an open Syphilis sore.
If you have a lump, blister or bump that you are not sure about, then Better2Know would recommend our Blemish Screen which will take a swab of the area.
I’ve had a needle stick injury at work
Needle Stick injuries are usually caused when a health care worker accidentally has their skin broken by a needle or syringe which may have come from an infected patient or other source. They can also be common with professionals (social care and legal staff) who work with patients in health or social care setting.
Firstly, try to access PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) within 72 hours of the injury - and the sooner the better. This can minimise your chances of contracting HIV if you have come into contact with HIV+ blood. With needle stick injuries, the most common concern is around bloodborne STIs which include HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and, less frequently, Syphilis.
If you have had a needle stick injury, we can test for all these STIs at just ten days after any potential incident. Better2Know would recommend our Early Detection Screen with an added Syphilis test.
I can’t really remember what happened
If you don't really know what happened and you have not got any symptoms or outward signs of infection, then Better2Know would suggest the Full Screen.
If you have blemish, spot, lump or blister then we would suggest that you book a Blemish Screen which will take a swab of the area you are concerned about and test for Herpes, HPV and Syphilis.
If you are female and have unusual discharge or odour, then we would suggest a Comfort Screen or a vaginal swab.
I/ we want to have a baby, or I’ve been asked to be a sperm donor
Before considering having a baby, it is really important to be certain that you are not carrying any STIs. These infections can be passed on to your baby before they are born, and they can also make it more difficult for you to get pregnant. If you are considering donating sperm, then you should also get tested to be certain you are not passing any infection on to the mother.
Both men and women should have a Full Screen and should also be tested for HPV and Herpes before planning any pregnancy. These tests will pick up the most common STIs and after appropriate treatment you can start trying to have a baby.
Testing for HIV is particularly important. Left untreated, an HIV infection can lead to serious complications and even death. It is also important to test for HIV before pregnancy as, with the right treatment, the chances of passing on the infection to your baby can be minimised.
I am pregnant/ just found out I’m pregnant: What should I do now?
If you find out that you are pregnant and have not had any tests for possible STIs, then it is important that you get yourself tested now. There are many STIs that may have no symptoms but will still affect your pregnancy and could even harm your unborn child.
Infections such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Hepatitis B, HIV, Syphilis, Herpes and HPV can all be passed from mother to child and some of these infections along with Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma and Gardnerella can lead to early rupture of the membranes and pre-term birth.
In the case of HIV, with the right treatment you can minimise the chances of passing this potentially life-threatening condition on to your child, so get tested right away.
Better2Know would suggest that you book a Full Screen or Platinum Screen to be sure that you are being tested for all likely STIs. Also consider an HPV test as this can be passed on from mother to child and, if left untreated, can lead to several types of cancers.
I only slept with him / her once
It does only take one time to catch an STD, STI or HIV. Of course, the chances are lower than if you have multiple partners, but if you sleep with someone without knowing whether they are infected then once is all it takes.
If you have no symptoms or outward signs of infection, then Better2Know would suggest the Full Screen. If you have blemish, spot, lump or blister then we would suggest a Blemish Screen which will take a swab of the area you are concerned about and test for Herpes, HPV and Syphilis.
If you are female and have unusual discharge or odour, then we would suggest a Comfort Screen or female swab.
My ex has told me that they have an STD
Try to find out what they have tested positive and negative for. If they have one STI or STD, there is a chance that they have more than one. They may not have been tested for the full range of STDs and STIs that Better2Know tests for.
We suggest that you test for whatever your ex-partner tested positive for, along with a full range of other STIs. If you are not sure or do not want to ask, then Better2Know recommends the Full Screen which includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, HIV and Syphilis and Hepatitis B, Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma.
The condom broke
We understand how worrying and how common it is when you have done the right thing and then get let down by the equipment. As far as your STD and STI testing needs are concerned, in this situation both of you should book a Full Screen as infection could go both ways.
If you think that your risk of HIV is low, you may want to consider the Peace of Mind test which tests for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis at just 14 days after the incident you are concerned about.
I’ve received / given anal sex
It is very easy to pass on STDs and STIs including HIV by anal sex as the lining of the rectum is very thin and delicate, and so small tears and cuts are quite common. Better2Know would suggest a Full Screen.
For those specifically receiving anal sex, Better2Know would recommend a Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test of your rectum. This test would take a small swab from your rectum and your results would be ready in 2 days.