I have sex with other men, how often should I get tested?

Men that have sex with other men should get tested at least once a year even with only one regular partner.

More frequent testing, up to 4 times a year, is recommended for men who:

  • have any unprotected anal sex
  • have more than 10 partners in the past six months
  • participate in group sex or use recreational drugs during sex

If you or your partner have casual sex outside of your relationship, both of you should get tested.

If you’re HIV positive, getting regular blood tests to monitor your HIV viral load doesn’t mean you are getting tests for other STIs. If you are sexually active, it is recommended that HIV positive men should have a syphilis test every 3 months as part of their routine HIV monitoring. You should also ask your doctor to test for the full range of STIs at the same time. It is also recommended that HIV-positive men should have a hepatitis C test once a year.

When you are in a new relationship it is advisable for you both to get a check-up as either of you may have contracted an STI from a previous partner.

Even if you show no symptoms, it is possible to have an STI and pass on the infection – especially if the infection is in the rectum or throat. Testing is the only way to know.

Some guys feel more comfortable going to a testing service that is familiar with working with gay men, bisexual and other men that have sex with men. If you are not sure if your GP will request all of the tests that you would like them to do for a full sexual health screening, it can be useful to take a copy of the STIGMA guidelines for GPs with you. This document lists all of the tests that are recommended for men that have sex with men.

TIME TO TEST

Did you know the average length of time a guy does not know he has HIV is 3 years? Find out more about testing at Time to Test.

 

 

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