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Ask Dr. K

How long after having unprotected sex should I wait before having the STD Test Panel Screening done for exposure to a number of sexually transmitted diseases?

The amount of time it takes your body to test positive for an STD depends on the type of STD. STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis can show up in a few days after exposure while infections like syphilis, herpes or HIV, depending on the test, can take at least 7 days or longer. Gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis are detected with a swab or urine test that measures the presence of the actual germ. Syphilis, herpes and HIV are detected with a blood (or oral fluid) test that measures the body’s immune reaction to the germ through the creation of antibodies. The body’s antibodies take at least a week to show up in the blood.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Thursday, November 19, 2009.
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