Sex work and STI-test
How many times do I need to get tested for STI's and why?
If you work in the sex business, STIs are an occupational hazard. Therefore it is important that you go for an STI test regularly. On this page you can find information about which STI's you can be tested for and how it is done.
Why get tested for STIs?
You can reduce the risk of an STI by always using a condom – for vaginal sex and for blow jobs.
You can never totally exclude STIs.
This is why we recommend that you go for an STI test twice a year. That way you keep your sexual health in check. Always go to an STI clinic or your family doctor ('huisarts') if you develop symptoms.
Where can you get an STI test?
You decide where you are tested and by whom.
- Family doctor, 'huisarts', GP
The family doctor or GP has a duty of confidentiality. The STI test results will appear in your medical records. Your GP may only pass on these details to others with your permission. Your basic medical cover will pay for a visit to your GP (consultation) and sometimes the tests, depending on your insurance. However, don’t forget your compulsory excess of EUR 385.
- Community Health Clinic for STI's, 'GGD'
You can arrange to have an STI test free of charge and in confidence at the community health clinic. Some clinics have special consultations for sex workers. Use the postal code application to find a clinic near you.
- At work
The community health clinic ('GGD') comes to you. The STI nurse will visit the sex club or area where you work. You can be tested on site. You do not have to go to an STI clinic or make an appointment.
What does an STI test involve?
An STI test consists of the following:
- Blood tests
Hiv, syphilis and hepatitis B are tested by taking one or more vials of blood from a vein from the hollow of your elbow.
- Vaginal smear test (self-swab)
This tests for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. You usually do this yourself: you use a type of large cotton wool bud to swab your vagina, insert the bud into a tube and give it to the STI nurse.
Sometimes, the STI nurse will do the test, in which case she will use a speculum. This will allow her to check your vagina for an STI.
- Other smear tests
Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can also live in the throat and anus. The nurse will take swabs from the throat and anus.
Painful blisters around or in your vagina can sometimes be swabbed to test for herpes.