Q&A: How often should a celibate person get tested for HIV or STDs?

    Q:How often should a celibate person get tested for HIV or STDs? I’ve been celibate for 5 1/2 years. Since 2006. My last test was 2009; negative. Is it a waste of time and money to get tested yearly if you are not active? Before I become active again we will get tested together. ~ April Freeman

    A: HIV tests in the US are pretty reliable, so if the test was negative, it very likely is negative. There is a very small chance the test could have been wrong, but again the likelihood is remote. Just for piece of mind, find a local health fair or public health clinic that offers free testing and get a free rapid test. This will alleviate your concern about the money part,and the test is quick, so not a lot of time expended either.

    If you are celibate, don’t get tatoos at tatoo parlors, and haven’t had a needle stick (e.g. from working in a hospital or clinic), you shouldn’t have to worry about HIV or STD’s. Your doctor or health clinic can perform a urine screen that tests for DNA of organisms that can cause STD’s and they can also do a culture. STD’s can sometimes not produce symptoms, especially in women.

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