…What do the doctors do?
This is a really great and important question!
When testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, someone has to wait at least 2 weeks before getting tested. If someone did contract Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, it will only show an accurate result 14 days after exposure. To test for these STIs, someone will usually urinate in a cup. The lab will be able to test the urine for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and you will get results within 1-2 weeks.
When testing for Syphilis or HIV, the usual time period that you have to wait is 3 months. After 3 months, someone will receive an accurate result. To test for these STIs, someone will usually have their blood drawn. The lab will test the blood and you will get results within 1-2 weeks. Boulder Teen Clinic also offers rapid HIV testing the first two Tuesdays of every month with the help of BCAP (Boulder County AIDS Project). During the rapid testing, someone will have their finger pricked and will know within 10 Minutes if they have HIV antibodies.
With other STIs like HPV, Trichomoniasis, Herpes, or Pubic Lice, you cannot test for the infection until you experience symptoms. Once you have symptoms, there are various tests that can be performed to confirm the presence of the infection. These tests could include but are not limited to visual tests or testing of discharge.
If you, or someone you know, believe you have an STI, abstain from any sexual contact until you can see a medical professional. You can also call Teen Clinic at 303-442-5160 to make an appointment or to talk with one of our medical professionals!
Check out this question for more information on how to prevent STIs!