Over 60% of people who have been infected with sexually transmitted diseases or infection in the past believe they would know if they are infected. Well, this may not always be the case...

Most sexually transmitted diseases rarely depict any signs and symptoms, and when they occur, they have mild signs that can be easily overlooked; this is why it is important to visit a private clinic for STI test occasionally. In other words, the only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested.

Most people are often perplexed with regards to issues relating to STI screening. For example, some patients believe most annual medical test will also include tests for STIs, especially in cases where your healthcare provider knows you are sexually active. Well, the truth is that some healthcare providers might decide to test for some infections, while other rarely carry out STIs test, until they are asked to do so.

If you are sexually active, had unprotected test in the past, or for some reasons, you feel you have been exposed to an STI , visit your nearest STI clinic to get tested for some common sexually transmitted infections like HIV, gonorrhoea, herpes, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis and syphilis.

How does STI testing work?

STI testing can be quick, painless and sometimes simple, depending on the type of disease you are being screened for. Sometimes, your healthcare provider may need to take a swab, blood sample, or urination sample.

Keep reading to get a glimpse on what the process entails


What does the Chlamydia test involve?

The recommended tests for Chlamydia are usually simple and equally very reliable. They involve sending cells sample to the laboratory for further analysis and diagnosis.

There are two major ways the test can be collected:

  • Swab: usually, a small cotton bud is gently wiped over the infected area; this may include the vagina or the anus.
  • Urine sample: your urine sample is collected, while they are sent off to a lab for further analysis. This should be done at most 2 hours after you last urinated.

Women are often asked to swab inside their vagina or provide a urine sample, while men may be required to provide a urine sample. The test results are normally out in 7 to 10 days. However, in cases where you have symptoms of the infection or your partner has been diagnosed with it, and you’ve had unprotected sex with them, your healthcare provider may kick-start your treatment process, even before your test results are out. This will help avoid further health issues or complications in the future.


Testing for gonorrhoea

There are different ways to test for gonorrhoea. Regardless, majority of the test involves the use of swabs, to remove a sample for testing. The swab is wiped over the infected parts of the body, to pick up samples of discharge. This takes few minutes and is rarely painful.

STI test for gonorrhoea in men and women may take different form, as explained below:

Testing women

For women, your GP will use a swab to collect a sample from the vagina or cervix area. In some cases, the woman will be asked to collect the sample herself. They can also be asked to provide a urine sample to test for the presence of gonorrhoea.

Testing men

Men are always asked to provide a urine sample, or a swab may be used to pick up a sample of discharge from the end of the penis.

The results

Some private clinics for STI test may be able to carry out rapid tests, where the doctor in charge can easily view the sample through a microscope and give you your test results right away. Some test results may also take up to 2 weeks to get the results.


HIV test may include either of the following process:

  • Blood test: your blood sample are collected in a clinic and sent off for screening in laboratory. The result of the test is always available on the same day or may take few days.
  • Home sampling kit: this involves collecting saliva sample or small spot of blood at home; while they are sent off in the post for testing. You will be contacted either through mail, phone or test with your result in few days.
  • Point of care test: a sample of your saliva or few blood spots are collected in a clinic. This does not necessarily need to be sent to the lab, and the results are available within few minutes.

If the tests find no signs of infection, your result is negative, while the reverse is the case if infections are found. The blood test is frequently used amongst the above listed, and are in fact, the most accurate amongst other test procedure. it can easily give reliable results after one months of infection.

Genital herpes

  • Genital herpes with symptoms

Swabs are drawn from the infected area. If it depicts a negative result, it is advised to follow up with a blood test to ensure the results are accurate. The test are to be done as soon as possible, this is because ‘viral culture’ test are not accurate after 48 hours.

  • Genital herpes without symptoms

Blood sample are simply drawn from the arm or a finger stick. We advise that you ask for a type-specific lgG test rather than an lgM test.

HPV (genital warts)

Genital warts can be easily detected with a simple examination and can occur in both men and womenWhen you visit a private clinic for STI test, the doctor or nurse will examine the warts using a magnifying lens. You may also be asked to have other are of your genitals examined, such areas may include the vagina or around the anus.


To diagnose syphilis, your doctor may either carry out a physical examination to examine your genitals or other parts of the body to look for growth or rashes that may be caused by rashes. Blood and swab samples can also be taken, while they are sent off to the lab for analysis.


Trichomoniasis can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are nearly the same to those of other sexually transmitted infections. If your GP suspects that you have trichomoniasis, they will carry out a physical examination of your genital area.

Where can I get tested?

visit your nearest STI clinic, to get tested immediately; an early detection will help your health care provider proffer suitable solution, depending on the situation at hand.