"Jane Bogart, M.A.: For the most part, your doctor, your medical provider, your family planning clinic, when you go for a check-up they're not going to automatically test you for sexually transmitted diseases or infections. You have to ask for that. The best thing to do is sort of go in through, the different types of symptoms that might show up. So you want them to look at you visually. Is there anything that you notice on my genitals, on my rectum? Is there anything that you have personally noticed that you might want to tell them about? They might want to do a swab test for you to see if you have gonorrhea or chlamydial infection those are very common and that should be part of your normal STI checkup. You might also want to have a blood test. They might want to do an HIV test or test for different viruses and that would be included in your STI check up.
There are certain things that they can and can't test for based on whether you have symptoms or not and your medical provider will be able to tell you that, but it's really helpful for you to go in with some information about, ‚ÄúHere are the things that I am worried about, I'm concerned about. These are the kinds of test that I would like to have,‚Äù and then have a discussion with your medical provider about what's appropriate for you given what activities you're doing, your level of risk, who you are, what's happened in the past.
Sometimes its hard for people to ask to be checked for STI's or STD's because in some way it does let the provider know that you are having some sort of sexual activity and depending who that person is and how comfortable you feel with it, it can be a little bit embarrassing. It may be helpful to know that your provider sees many many people who are sexually active and probably tests many, many people for STI's and so this is part of what they do. If it would help you at all, maybe you can write down some of your concerns before you go in to talk to your provider so, when you get in there it might make it more comfortable for you to have that conversation."