Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Getting tested for STIs has never been easier – everyone aged 16 and over and with no symptoms can order a free online test and anyone with symptoms or under 16 can access testing through GUM clinics. It is important to get tested if you think you have been at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If you have had sex without a condom or the condom split or came off, you can use emergency contraception (morning after pill).
Who is at risk of getting STIs?
If you are sexually active and if you are unsure about your partner’s sexual history, you risk getting STIs. People at any age can get a sexually transmitted infection.
Reasons to have a sexual health check-up include if:
- you think you might have an STI;
- you have had sex without using a condom, including vaginal, oral and anal sex;
- a condom split or came off during sex;
- you are at the beginning of a new sexual relationship;
- you or your partner have more than one sexual partner;
- you shared injecting equipment.
How often you need a check-up depends on your lifestyle and sexual activity.
Where to find help and support
STI testing is:
- free, straightforward, confidential and in most cases you can do it from home
- People with no symptoms and who are 16 and over can test online - SH:24 Free Home STI STD Test | Sexual & Reproductive Health (sh24.org.uk)
- People with symptoms or people under 16 can get tested at a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, and at some GP surgeries.