How Long Does It Take for an STD to Show Up?
This question is often difficult to answer. There are more than 20 types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs or STIs), and many do not cause noticeable symptoms. In other cases, symptoms may not develop until several months or even years after exposure.
Instead of asking how long it takes for STD symptoms to show up, the better question may be “how long does it take for antibodies to develop?” When you are exposed to germs, such as the various viruses and bacteria that cause STDs, your body’s immune system produces special antibodies to fight off the specific invader. In fact, many forms of STD testing screen for certain antibodies, not the virus or bacterium itself.
The time between exposure and when a measurable amount of antibodies or symptoms are present is known as an incubation period. The incubation periods for STDs vary significantly; here are just a few examples of STD incubation periods:
- Gonorrhea – One to 28 days
- Genital and oral herpes – Two to 12 days
- Trichomoniasis – Five to 28 days
- Chlamydia – One to three weeks
- HIV – Two to four weeks
- Hepatitis B – Eight to 22 weeks
- HPV – One month to 10 years
- Syphilis – Three weeks to 20 years
Fast & Reliable STD Testing
At Affinity Urgent Care, our experienced and friendly clinicians offer a full range of STD testing on a walk-in basis. We provide a safe place to discuss your symptoms, find answers to your questions, and receive the diagnostic services you need to achieve your best health. Visit us when you need us—we are open every day during extended hours and do not require appointments.