How Soon Can I Get Tested for STDs After Unprotected Sex?


Let’s say you’ve recently had unprotected sex and now you’re 

worried that you may have picked up a sexually transmitted disease (STD). 

With STD rates rising higher than ever before, 

this is a totally valid and legitimate concern. 


So what do you do? 

Getting tested would be a very smart decision, 

but you may be surprised to learn that you can actually test too early.


If you feel like you could have contracted an STD, 

your instinct may be to get tested immediately, but this can be a huge mistake


Testing too early can cause inaccurate results

possibly leading you to believe you’re STD-free when you’re really not. 


This is because each STD has its own unique “incubation period,” 

which you must out wait in order to get accurate results. 

Like many things in life, timing is everything. 


What Is an STD Incubation Period?

An incubation period is the span of time from when you 

first come in contact with an STD to when antibodies form to fight the STD


Oral herpes – 

Oral herpes (cold sores) are typically caused by the HSV-1 strain of the virus, but can be caused by HSV-2. 

Herpes goes through unpredictable active and inactive phases. Even when the virus is inactive it can still be spread.


Genital herpes – 

Genital herpes cause lesions on or near the genitals which are typically caused by the 

HSV-2 strain of the virus, but can be caused by HSV-1. 


Herpes goes through unpredictable active and inactive phases. 

Even when the virus is inactive it can still be spread.


HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) – 


HIV, which becomes AIDS if left untreated, if a chronic infection that attacks the immune system. 

HIV makes it very difficult to fight off other illnesses and infections, 

but those diagnosed can be treated with antiretroviral therapy to keep their viral load 

(Amount of copies of the virus) low and still live a long life.



Chronic Hepatitis B (HBV) – 

Chronic Hepatitis occurs after the initial acute phase of Hepatitis B. 

Chronic hepatitis results after approximately six months of having 

the virus and lasts for the rest of an individual’s life. 

Symptoms can occur anytime, even decades later. 


Many end up with chronic infection or liver disease– 20 percent die as a result of chronic infection.
HPV – Some strains of the human)

Tests look for the presence of these antibodies during testing, 

and if you do not wait until the incubation period has ended, 

you may not allow your body sufficient time to develop 

enough antibodies for it to show up in testing, causing a false-negative result.


Even after you have waited for the incubation period to end, 

you may not see signs or symptoms of the STD. 

Many STDs do not display symptoms at all or are so 

subtle that you could think you have a cold or a rash. 


Your symptoms come and go, 

but this doesn’t mean the STD has gone away. 


This is why it’s so important to get tested; there is simply 

no other way to be 100% sure of an STD diagnosis.


When Should I Get Tested for STDs?

How Soon Do STDs Appear
STD Symptoms
Chlamydia Incubation Time
Gonoreaa Incubation Time
Syphilis Incubation Time
Hepatitis Incubation Time
Herpes Incubation Time
HIV Incubation Time
How Soon To Get Test For All STDs