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Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Topics

Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing - Topic Overview

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Syphilis

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) strongly recommend that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis because of the severe consequences of being pregnant while infected or having a child born with congenital syphilis.3 Screening should be done:4

  • At the first prenatal visit for all pregnant women.
  • During the third trimester and again at delivery for pregnant women who have an increased risk of acquiring syphilis.

The USPSTF also strongly recommends that anyone with high-risk sexual behaviors be screened.

Yearly testing for syphilis is recommended for men who are sexually active with other men. If these men also engage in risky sexual behavior, have HIV, or have a sex partner with syphilis, testing should take place more often.

For more information, see the topic Syphilis.

Gonorrhea

The USPSTF recommends testing all sexually active women who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.5

If you engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, you may want to consider being tested once a year for gonorrhea even though you don't have symptoms. Testing will allow gonorrhea to be quickly diagnosed and treated. This helps to reduce the risk of transmitting gonorrhea and avoid complications of the infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends testing for pregnant women who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors to prevent them from transmitting gonorrhea to their babies. All pregnant women should be tested during their first prenatal visit. If a pregnant woman is at high risk for gonorrhea, she may be tested again during the third trimester before delivery to prevent transmitting the infection to her newborn.6

For more information, see the topic Gonorrhea.

Other types of STIs include:

Other infections that may be sexually transmitted include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis A, cytomegalovirus, scabies, pubic lice, molluscum contagiosum, hepatitis C, and possibly bacterial vaginosis.

For more information, see the topic Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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