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Getting Tested

Get tested! It's the only way to know.

The majority of STIs do not cause any symptoms, so you might not notice that something is wrong.

How do I know if I have an STI?

How do I find out for sure if I have a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?
Get tested! It's the only way to know. The majority of STIs do not cause any symptoms, so you might not notice that something is wrong. In fact, most women with chlamydia or gonorrhea don't know they have it.

If you do have symptoms, it is important to go to your healthcare provider to get tested and treated.

Where can I get tested?

FREE and CONFIDENTIAL chlamydia testing is available in clinics throughout Boston. For information on locations, visit www.helpsteps.com. If you don't have health insurance or don't want to use your health insurance, you can still get tested! Please call ahead to confirm the schedule.

If you are a Boston Public High School student,  your school may have a School-Based Health Center or Health Resource.

For more information about chlamydia testing in Boston, please call the Mayor's Health Line at (617) 534-5050.​

FAQs about getting tested

FAQs

Annual testing for some STIs is a good idea if you are sexually active. You are the person who can best protect your health. Below are general guidelines on STI testing.

You should get tested:

  • If you have symptoms 
  • Every year if you are sexually active and under 24 years old. Get tested even if you don't have symptoms
  • If you change sex partners 
  • If you have more than one sex partner 
  • If your partner has more than one sex partner 
  • If you do not use a condom or dental dam EVERY TIME you have sexual intercourse

Testing for each STI is slightly different. To compare the different STI tests by infection, look below:

Urine test: a medical provider will ask you to provide a urine sample in a cup. 

  • This test is commonly used for chlamydia and gonorrhea

Blood test: a medical provider will take a small sample of your blood to test for infection.

  • This test is commonly used for syphilis and HIV

A swab: a medical provider will take a sample from an infected area to test for a particular germ. This test is often performed on individuals who have symptoms but can be used on people without symptoms.

  • This test is commonly used for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Some rapid HIV tests also use swabs

Physical exam: a medical provider will perform a physical exam, looking at the infected area. This type of test is usually performed on individuals who are experiencing symptoms.

  • This test is commonly used for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), genital warts, syphilis, genital herpes, pubic lice and scabies

All community health centers and hospitals in Boston offer STI testing. To find a clinic in your neighborhood, visit www.helpsteps.com or call Mayor's Health Line (MHL) at 617-534-5050 (Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710)​.

Yes. In Massachusetts, if you are 13 or older you can get a confidential STI test without your parents' permission - it's the law​! 

Expedited Partner Therapy

Expedited Partner Therapy

In 2011, the Massachusetts Legislature and Massachusetts Public Health Council passed a policy allowing qualified healthcare providers to prescribe medication for chlamydia treatment for heterosexual partners of infected individuals. Partners do not need a physician to see them for treatment. This legislation passed on July 1st, 2011 under code 128 of the Massachusetts Public Health Law. It is currently effective.

EPT Fact Sheet for Providers:
CDC EPT Effectiveness
CDC Review and Guidance

Rules and Regulations Regarding EPT:
Massachusetts Law
CDC Legal Brief for Massachusetts

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