I'd like to ask some questions/start a discussion about what level of STD testing is appropriate. Below the cut for those who want to skip, but I'd be interested in the opinions of those who are willing to share. Several discussions of STD risk lately have caused me to ponder what sort of testing I should do and what sort of testing I should ask current and potential partners to do. I'm interested in facts about what level of testing others are doing and opinions about what is appropriate. One of the big questions is how often do you want to do testing? Insurance seems to want to cover about once a year typically. Is that often enough? Given the incubation period for HIV, it seems like six months between testing might also be reasonable, but I'm not sure if it is worth getting testing that is not covered by insurance. I understand there are ways to get free/cheap testing. My experience has been that I get a lot less stressed having testing done by my normal doctor than say at MGH. How often do you test yourself? How often should partners get testing?
What tests are important to get? I'm interested both for males and females. Some things are obvious. I think the biggest question for me is Herpes testing; I've been getting mixed recommendations from doctors. My doctor seems to think it's important to get, although other quite knowledgeable and liberal doctors think that there are a lot of cases where it doesn't make sense to test for Herpes. What else should I be thinking about?
I'd be interested in any thoughts you'd be willing to share. I'd prefer comments not be anonymous, although I'll take what I can get. If people feel uncomfortable commenting on a public entry I can friends lock this. I'm as much interested in your reasoning as your answers to questions.