"Complete" STI Testing -- What That Really Means
Depending on a person's particular health history, we may recommend additional tests or other procedures.
Most areas have free public health clinics that will administer some or all of these test very inexpensively or free.
The list below can be considered a “complete” list of STI tests. Some are more critical than others, and there might be some others I'm not aware of that would be worthwhile. In particular, there are now tests for HPV for men, but they are not yet widely available. We will update this list regularly as new tests and new information becomes available.
Any suggestions or information to refine this list is most welcome.
Gonorrhea - (men - Penile Culture)
Syphillis - Blood Test
HIV Blood Test
Chlamydia - smear
Herpes - "type-specific" IgG, IGM blood test that distinguishes between Type
1 and Type 2 (many doctors will give you a hard time about ordering this test. Insist on it.)
Women only :
HPV - Digene DNA Test (Essential, *at least* every two years, preferably annually. Annually if there is has been a positive test previously. Try to get the results reported by HPV strain type #, not just "positive" or
Pap smear- ThinPrep or SurePath brands *only* (thin-film technology).
(Essential annually; every six months if the Digene test is positive.)
(Other brands of Pap smear have *much* higher error rates; some aren't much better than tossing a coin. ThinPrep is slightly more accurate than SurePath, but it is slightly harder to do properly, so their comparative effectiveness is similar, and either of these is acceptable.)
These two STI's usually have obvious external symptoms, and only need testing if there are symptoms that need to be confirmed.
In addition, if a person is willing to get vaccinated, we strongly recommend the following vaccines:
Gardasil (for both men and women of all ages, despite what many doctors will tell you. Since the vaccine is only effective against strains that the person is not already infected with, I recommend the Gardasil vaccine if a woman's Digene test is negative; if it is positive, then further discussion is required. There is no readily available HPV test for men just yet, but if a regular partner has a clean Digene test, then the odds of the male being HPV-free are much higher.)
The Hepatitis A & B tests may be spaced out much more (every 5 years or so) if a person has been vaccinated.