Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

anonymous on September 13, 2011

I got a blow job from a prostitute...what STD tests should I get to be safe?

I’m in an unhappy monogamous relationship, so seven days ago I had unprotected oral sex (a blow job) and protected intercourse with a woman I don’t know. When I asked her why she wasn’t using a condom for the oral sex she said that she didn’t have herpes and didn’t think I did either. What STD tests should I consider taking? I feel horrible and scared.

answered by
Lisa Oldson, MD on September 13, 2011

First, I’m glad that you asked about getting tested despite your misgivings about what occurred.

Given that you had unprotected sex with someone whose STD status you don’t know, getting tested for common STDs is a good idea…you may want to get tested for herpes 1 & 2, chlamydia and gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, and possibly hepatitis B and C.

Why? It’s possible to get most STDs through oral sex. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes are more commonly transmitted orally, but HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C can be transmitted orally as well ⎼ particularly if there are any open cuts in the mouth or bleeding gums. Also, because many STDs show no signs or symptoms for a long time, testing is the only way to know if you have an infection that might require treatment. 

When should you get tested for STDs? Different STDs can be detected by laboratory testing within different time periods. For example, chlamydia can usually be detected within two weeks of exposure, but herpes and HIV are most likely to be detected within 4-6 weeks of exposure. For more information about so-called testing windows, please see our easy reference STD Testing Windows Guide

In the meantime, while you’re waiting for your test results, not having sex with your partner is a smart idea. Talking about your indiscretion also offers your partner respect so that she can make smart decisions about her sexual health. Let her know that your relationship is no longer monogamous and in the very least, if you have any sexual contact, make sure to use barrier protection like condoms or dental dams to help protect your partner. 

Bottom line: if you’re sexually active, use protection…but also make sure to get tested for STDs regularly, and inform your partner she may benefit from STD testing as well. For more information about STD risks, prevention and testing, see our Expert Guide to STD Basics.

Related info:

Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

Related Q&A's

My partner has HIV...what’s my risk?
My husband cheated on me...he used a condom, but am I still at risk for STDs?
I got hepatitis B from my last boyfriend...am I contagious to new partners?