What can I expect when testing for a blood borne virus or sexually transmissible infection?
When attending a clinic to test for a blood borne virus or sexually transmissible infection, the doctor or nurse might ask you a few questions to help them understand your risk of infection.
These may include questions about the gender of your sexual partners, sexual practices, number of sexual partners, history of drug use, body piercing and tattooing. This information is important to help doctors and nurses provide you with the right medical advice. They are required by law to keep your information confidential. Some tests that might be conducted are:
- Urine sample, where you pee in a small jar provided.
- Swab sample, where a long cotton bud is used to swab the affected area.
- Blood sample, where blood is collected in small tubes.
- Physical examination of the affected area.
These samples will be sent off for testing and can take up to a week for results to be returned to the clinic. Most clinics will not provide you the result over the phone and will ask you to come back for your test result. Sometimes you may be required to come back to do another test to confirm your result. It is important you come back for your result so that the doctor can provide you useful advice about treatment or future prevention. If you are having sex, it is recommended that you have a check up at least once a year. You may be asked to test more regularly depending on your sexual practices.
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