Many people rely on symptoms as a first sign that they should get tested for an STI. But this practice is not fool-proof and can perpetuate the spread of infection. In fact, many common STIs don’t manifest any symptoms for weeks or months. Some symptoms take years to show up, and some never have symptoms.
Further, men typically have less severe symptoms than women, or can attribute their symptoms to another factor like eating too much sushi a few nights ago.
STIs with delayed symptoms
Many of the top-spreading STIs are rampant because they easily go unnoticed. Men in particular are at risk for carrying these STIs unknowingly:
- Chlamydia: often referred to as the “silent” infection, the majority of men do not experience any symptoms from chlamydia. If they do, men develop symptoms several weeks after infection.
- Herpes: many men with herpes will not develop symptoms, although symptoms may appear 2-12 days after infection. However, the small blisters can be easily attributed to razor burn, bug bites, or ingrown hairs.
- Gonorrhea: while gonorrhea in the urethra does cause itching and burning, symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear.
- Syphilis: syphilis is the mocking bird of STIs, as its symptoms mimic many diseases and can take three months to appear. Syphilis can also lay dormant with no symptoms for years.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV): men often show no symptoms from HPV, but some many notice symptoms months or years after infection.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): HIV symptoms appear 2-6 weeks after infection, but the symptoms mimic the flu, which can further delay testing.
- Hepatitis B (HBV): most men won’t experience symptoms, but flu-like symptoms occur after three months.
Take cautious action
If you’re a man, get tested often, especially when beginning a new sexual relationship. It’s easy to ignore or attribute symptoms to another factor, but this puts you and your partner at risk for further complications.
If you’re a woman, get tested often! Even if you have “the talk” about STIs with your partner, they may be unaware they are infected and in need of treatment—and that you might be, too.
Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.