Below are some incidents in which it would be wise to have a test, and the suggested tests to choose. This is not an exhaustive list and we recommend you contact us if you have any concerns.
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 already know about your partner. If you are unsure then Better2Know recommends a Full Screen or a Platinum Screen which will check for many infections. Remember that only one exposure or incident is enough to catch an STD, STI or HIV and regular testing is the only way to responsibly manage your sexual health.
'I had oral sex'
Certain STIs can be transmitted through the mouth. This is more likely if the person who performed oral sex had a cut or sore in their mouth or if you have a cut or sore on your genitals. Most commonly infections that can be spread orally include Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and Herpes, but can also include HIV although that is rare. We would suggest that you have a Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Herpes and an HIV test.
'I had sex with a sex worker'
Sexual intercourse with a sex worker is one of the most high risk sexual activities because of 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 infections can spread quickly. Female Sex Workers are one of the groups in India with the highest prevalence of HIV.
If you have had sex with a sex worker, then you should consider the Better2Know Platinum Screen or the Better2Know Full Screen. You should be tested for a wide range of STIs and your test should include HIV.
'I had a one night stand and I need results quickly. I don't want to pass anything on to my partner'
Please do not have sex with your partner until you get your test results to confirm that you will not pass on an STI. We have an incubation or window period for all our tests - this is the minimum time that needs to pass before any STI or STD will be detectable - you can still transmit any infection in this period of time. When you want results as quickly as possible we suggest you choose a Better2Know screen which can detect infections with the shortest incubation period. These are:
- Early Detection Screen (at 10 days after any incident) for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C - results in 3 days from when the sample is received in the laboratory.
- Peace of Mind (at 14 days after any incident) for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis - results in 2 days from when the sample is received in the laboratory.
- Early Platinum Screen (14 days after any exposure) and is our most comprehensive screen covering 12 individual sexually transmitted infections.
'We touched a lot, but we didn’t have sex'
There are still STIs and STDs that can be passed on through body contact alone. It is unlikely that you will catch or pass on HIV or Hepatitis unless there was blood present, however one of the most common STIs which can be passed on through touch is HPV. This can cause genital warts and can cause cervical cancer in women, as well as other cancers of the mouth, throat, anus and penis. HPV testing is available for women at any time. Men must have a visible wart or request a urethral or anal swab.
Herpes both Type I (usually found around the mouth) and Type II (usually found in the genitals) can be passed on when touching any infected area of the body. We can test for Herpes by blood (if you have no symptoms) and urine or a swab sample 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 work in a clinic and got injured by a patient's needle'
Needle Stick injuries are 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 occur with professionals (social care and legal staff) who work with patients in health or social care setting.
Try to access PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) within 72 hours of the injury. The sooner the better. PEP is a course of antiviral medicines that can sometimes prevent you from catching HIV if taken quickly enough and can minimise your chances of contracting HIV, if you have come into contact with the virus. With needle stick injuries, the most common concern is around blood-borne STIs and STDs which include HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and, less frequently, Syphilis.
Better2Know recommends an Early Detection Screen for needle stick injuries, and you can choose to include Syphilis testing along with this screen.
It is recommended that you follow this up at 28 days and again at 8 to 12 weeks with tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
'I think we had sex but I cannot really remember what happened'
If you do not know what happened but are concerned and have got no symptoms or outward signs of infection, then Better2Know would suggest you choose the Full STD screen.
If you have a blemish, spot, lump or blister then we would suggest that you have 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 noticed an unusual discharge or odour then we would suggest a Urine Culture screen or a vaginal swab.
'I want to have a baby' or 'I have been asked to be a sperm donor'
Before trying to have a baby it is really important to be certain that you are not carrying any Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). STIs can be passed on to your baby before they are born causing problems with the pregnancy. They can also make it more difficult for you to get pregnant in the first place. 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 Better2Know Platinum Screen. Women should also be tested for HPV. The Platinum screen will pick up the most common STIs and also includes the TORCH panel of tests which are very important when planning a family. If you test positive for any infections you can start trying to have a baby after any appropriate treatment has been completed.
Testing for HIV is particularly important. Left untreated, an HIV infection can lead to serious complications for the baby. 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 found out I am pregnant. What should I do now?'
Having a Platinum Screen and HPV will help to protect your baby and help your pregnancy. This will test for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, a Urine Culture Test, Toxoplasmosis, Cytomegalovirus, Rubella, Herpes and HPV.
'I only slept with someone once'
It only takes one incident of intimate contact to catch an STI, STD or HIV. The probability is higher if you have multiple partners, but if you sleep with someone without knowing whether they are infected, even just once, then there is a chance you may have caught an infection.
If you have no symptoms or outward signs of infection then Better2Know would suggest the Full STI screen. If you have a blemish, spot, lump or blister then we would suggest that you have a blemish screen which will take a swab of the area you are concerned about as well as testing for Herpes, HPV and Syphilis. If you are female and have unusual discharge or odour then we would suggest a Female Swab and the Urine Culture Screen.
'My ex has told me they have an STI - What should I do?'
Try to find out what your ex-partner has tested positive and negative for. If they have tested positive for one STI or STD there is a chance they have more than one, but they may not have been tested for the full range of STDs and STIs that Better2Know tests for.
We suggest that you test for the same infection(s) your ex-partner tested positive for along with a full range of other STIs. If you are not sure what their infection is, or do not want to ask, then Better2Know recommends the Full STD screen.
'The condom broke'
In this situation both you and your partner should have a Better2Know Full STD 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 any incident you are concerned about.
'I have had 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 so small tears and cuts are quite common. Better2Know would suggest a Platinum Screen or Full Screen.
Specifically for those 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 two days.
'I gave someone oral sex'
It is possible to catch an STI by giving oral sex. Better2Know would suggest you choose a Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test of your mouth and throat. This test would take a small swab from your mouth.
If you are worried that you had a cut in your mouth then there is a possibility of HIV transmission and you should consider including an HIV test.