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Incubation Periods for Common STDs

If you have recently had unprotected sex or have found out along the line someone you had a sexual relationship with has an STD, you may be concerned about the potential risks. That is completely understandable. Now, you may wonder how long it takes for a disease to show up on a screening or what is the incubation period for a specific STD or STI. Therefore, you may want to keep reading to learn about the best time to get tested for the most common sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

For those concerned with chlamydia, they should wait 1 to 5 days to get tested after exposure. The normal incubation period, for it takes up to 5 days, so if you get tested before that, time has elapsed you may need to get re-tested. If you test positive, then you should wait 2 weeks after you have gotten it treated to see if the bacteria have disappeared from your body.

With gonorrhea, you should get tested between 2 to 6 days after exposure; that amount of time is the incubation period for the bacteria. If you get it treated, you should get tested again 2 weeks after having finished with the treatment to see if you are completely free of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

When it comes to syphilis, the incubation period is a bit longer. You want to wait and get tested for it at least 3 weeks after exposure; the incubation period is between 3 to 6 weeks. Once again, if you get it treated, make sure to come back and get tested 2 weeks after that to see if you test negative this time.

For hepatitis A, you should wait between 2 to 7 weeks to get tested because that is the incubation period for the virus. You should also know that you don’t need to get re-tested because, if the results are positive, the virus remains in your body forever.

On the other hand, for the other strain of hepatitis, that is, hepatitis B, you want to wait 6 weeks after exposure to get tested because that is the incubation period. In addition, like the other form of hepatitis, this virus stays in your system for life so you don’t need to get re-tested after you get it treated.

Lastly, there is another strain of hepatitis and that is hepatitis C. For this one, you need to wait between 8 to 9 weeks to get tested to see if you are a carrier. Unlike the other two previous strains, you should get re-tested for this one after receiving treatment; come back 3 months after that to check your status.

For oral herpes, you want to wait 4 or 6 weeks to get tested. Oral herpes remains in your body forever, so you don’t need to get re-tested. However, do be aware that, if the results come back negative, you do need to get re-tested after 3 months to confirm that status.

Genital herpes has the same incubation period as oral herpes; so, wait 4 to 6 weeks to get tested. Just like the other herpes strains, you will be a lifelong carrier of the virus and you might want to get re-tested after 3 months if your results are negative.

If you have been exposed or fear may have been exposed to HIV (HIV antibody test method), you will need to wait between 1 to 3 months to check your status. Also, it is advised for you to get a retesting order to confirm your results. For the HIV-HIV RNA test, for early detection, you will need to wait between 9 to 11 days after exposure and it is advised for you to re test to confirm the result. If you test positive for HIV, you will need to get treated as soon as possible.

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