With all the news of COVID-19 in the world, it can be easy to forget about infections like HIV, STD, and hepatitis. But if you’re sexually active, it’s still important to get tested often.
During this time of social distancing, it’s best to avoid close contact—and that includes having sex—with any partner, especially if they may have COVID-19. Learn more about sexual health and COVID 19.
But if you do plan to have sex, remember that nothing can completely protect you and your partner from getting HIV or STDs—including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Here’s what you should know about getting tested for HIV, STDs, and hepatitis during the pandemic.
You can still get a test.
Think you may have had contact with HIV, an STD, or hepatitis C? You can still get tested. The same is true if you need to get tested to continue taking PrEP. Need a test right now? Search for locations near you.
Know before you go.
Call ahead to learn about social distancing protocols. For instance, most offices and clinics now require visitors to wear a face covering while inside their facilities. Some locations may also require that you make an appointment for testing.
You may have to wait a bit longer.
Many clinics and offices are running at reduced capacity, which may mean increased waiting times for you. But your patience will be rewarded: getting tested and treated is a critical part of staying healthy.
Ask about a virtual visit.
Many offices are now providing services by phone or video chat. The availability of telehealth services vary by location, so call your doctor to learn more.
Social distancing is changing the HIV, STD, and hepatitis testing experience.
In order to minimize face-to-face contact, you may be asked to collect your sample at a clinic or lab—or maybe even in the privacy of your home. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Need help paying for HIV, STD, or hepatitis testing?
These programs offer free or low-cost testing services in Massachusetts.