After a recent exposure, many people want to run out for STD testing the next morning. While it’s important to promptly receive STD testing if there’s a chance you may have caught an STD, certain STDs take longer than others to show up on a STD test.
The STD window period—the time between exposure and when the test can accurately detect the infection—varies by STD. Testing too soon after exposure can lead to inaccurate test results or false negatives. Waiting the specified window period ensures accuracy and peace of mind. Here are the important window periods you should know before getting an STD test performed:
STD Testing Window Periods
- Chlamydia test and gonorrhea test window: 3 to 7 days
- Genital herpes test window: 3 to 6 weeks
- Syphilis test window: 3 to 6 weeks
- HIV test window: 3 to 6 months*
If you received a negative STD test for any of these STDs before the specified window period, it’s important to confirm the result will a follow-up test. It’s always better to err on the side of caution!
*getSTDtested.com offers an early detection HIV test that can provide accurate results 10 days after exposure. STD testing experts recommend confirming results with the ELISA HIV test , which is considered the gold standard in HIV testing, at 3 months post-exposure