Testing for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections
Getting tested is the only way to know if you're living with HIV or any sexually transmitted infection (STI). By getting tested, you can get treatment if it turns out that you're living with HIV or an STI.
Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that are covered by the communicable diseases act should be free of charge everywhere in Sweden. That includes HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and hepatitis.
A positive test result means that you have the infection you were tested for. A negative test result means that you don’t have the infection.
In some cases you can be summoned to testing according to the communicable diseases act. This may happen if you have had sex with someone who has an infection that is covered by the communicable diseases act, or if there’s another reason to believe that you might be infected.
How often should I get tested for HIV and other STIs?
General advise about how often you should get tested and for what is difficult to give. Therefore, you should take advise about how often to get tested with a grain of salt, reflect and determine yourself what best suits you. If you have a sex life with many different contacts and don’t always practice safer sex, it’s good to get tested regularly.
For you who have sex with people with a penis it can be good to get tested once a year or before you have sex with a new partner. If you have many different partners and don’t always practice safer sex, you should get tested every 3 to 6 months. Make sure that you get tested for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis when you go.
If you have a vagina and only have sex with other people with a vagina, it’s not as relevant to get tested for HIV that often. However, it can still be a good idea to get tested for other infections – especially chlamydia – every now and then.
Where can I get tested for STIs?
Younger people can get tested at youth clinics. The upper age-limit at youth clinics varies, but is usually around 23 or 25. You find all youth clinics at www.youmo.se.
In larger cities there’s usually an STI clinic, SESAM clinic or venereal clinic where they’re specialized in testing. In Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, there are specialist clinics for men who have sex with men. In Stockholm, there’s also a gynecological clinic for women who have sex with women and trans people.
More and more county councils offer the opportunity to order a home test for chlamydia. These can also be bought at Apoteket.
Do you often forget to get tested?
With RFSL’s testing reminder, you get a text message when it’s time to go and get tested. The service is free and anonymous and is aimed at you who are a man and/ or trans and have sex with men.
You can choose to get a reminder every third, sixth or twelfth month. Text THREE, SIX or TWELWE to 71111 to start the service.