When should I test for STIs?
Many people with STIs have no symptoms. If you think you may have an STI, then we recommend that you get tested.
Most STIs don't show in a test straight away. So you need to wait a few weeks before a test will be accurate. This time is called the window period. The window periods are different for different infections.
If you're not sure about window periods, you should do a test now, and another test at a later date.
How long does it take for STIs to show in tests?
These are the window periods for the tests we use.
chlamydia: 2 weeks
gonorrhoea: 2 weeks
HIV: 7 weeks
hepatitis B: 12 weeks
hepatitis C: 12 weeks
syphilis: 12 weeks
Hepatitis C can sometimes take up to 9 months to show in a test, so if you're not sure when you might have been exposed, do a test now, and another test in 9 months.
If you may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, do not wait to test. Get immediate advice on taking PEP.