Recommended health screening exams + tests

It can be confusing to know which screening tests are needed at any given time in your life, and it is important to avoid unnecessary testing because they are less accurate when you are at low risk and can lead to unnecessary medical procedures with accompanying pain, anxiety, and even risk of complications.

Below are some guidelines regarding general  health tests and screenings. Your clinician will individualize recommendations based on your particular symptoms or screening requirements. It is important to discuss your own personal and family health as you make decisions about medical tests.

Height, weight, blood pressure Annually

Breast exam Discuss with your clinician
Dental visit Annually
Mammogram Age 40-49 discuss with your clinician, age 50+ every 1-2 years
PAP/cervical cancer screening PAP smears start at age 21, regardless of sexual activity. For low-risk women without prior abnormal PAP smears, new guidelines recommend:
  • age 21-29 every 3 years
  • age 30-69 every 5 years with negative HPV co-test  
For more information about screening for cervical cancer see the UHS Women’s Health Web 
Bone density Age 65; younger if high risk
Colonoscopy 50+ every 10 years (alternate screening available)
Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)

Average risk people can now order basic STI testing through our self-directed STI screening program in eTang! This program offers screening for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, and/or HIV without an appointment at low or no cost depending on insurance.
Please note that an appointment is more appropriate if:

  • you have symptoms or questions
  • you have had a known recent exposure to an STI*
  • you are the victim of a sexual assault
  • you need oral or anal testing for GC/CT**

*Call or come in within 72 hours to discuss Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) if you think you are at high risk for HIV exposure* 
Most sexually active young people need screening no more often than annually. Consider screening more often for STIs if you think any of the below RISK FACTORS apply to you.

  • Inconsistent condom use
  • A history of multiple partners or a partner with multiple contacts or partner who is not known to you
  • Sexual contact with a partner with an STD/STI
  • You've had an STI within the past year
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Sex work or drug use
  • Pregnancy

Our recommendations for screening are consistent with those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which bases its recommendations on the prevalence of these infections within different epidemiological risk groups:

  • HIV counselling and testing should be offered to all sexually active people at least once.
  • Sexually active women <26, and any women with risk factors for STIs should be screened for chlamydial +/- gonococcal infection annually.
  • Pregnant women should be screened for gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis infections.
  • **Men who have sex with men (MSM) who are sexually active should have screening for STIs every 6-12 months, including site-specific testing such as oral and anal swabs when appropriate.
  • **Syphilis screening is recommended for MSM, commercial sex workers, persons who exchange sex for drugs, and persons in correctional facilities. There has recently been an increase in Syphilis rates in certain geographic communities that includes San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties as well as numerous counties in Southern California. If you are a sexually active person who lives in these counties, Syphilis testing is advised. Our STI wizard can further help you determine if Syphilis testing is right for you. 
  • Hepatitis B screening should be offered to men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDU), persons attending an STI clinic or seeking STI treatment, persons with a history of multiple sex partners, pregnant women, persons born in an endemic area of the world, and persons with liver conditions. Patients who are not immune should be offered vaccination.
  • Hepatitis A screening should be offered to MSM and injection drug users, as well as those with liver conditions. Those who are not immune should be offered vaccination.

For more information:(RENAME VANITY NAMES)

Make an STD/STI screening appointment?

Make an appointment to see a clinician

If you don't have sympotms, consider self-directed screening.

Cholesterol screening 35+ every 5 years; younger if at high risk for heart disease
Hepatitis B Once for all pregnant women and Asian-born people of either gender

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