Did you know that even if you use condoms or dental dams, you could still contract an STD? So whether it’s a routine screening or following an unexpected night out, getting regular check-ups on your sexual health is an important part of your overall healthcare routine and can save you a lot of hassle and headache – not to mention other aches – later on. 

Here are some key tips and tricks to make sure you’re in the clear.

Where can I get tested for STDs?

Beijing United Family Hospital and Raffles are both easy options for non-Mandarin speakers. The Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital also has an English-speaking wing. For those with Mandarin language skills, you can also find STD testing services at any larger Chinese clinic or hospital. Expect service to be brusque but efficient.

Which STDs should I get tested for?

Depending on the type of hospital you go to, they may ask you what kind of STDs you want to be screened for without much direction. Below are the Mandarin translations of some commonly tested and contracted STDs:

  • Gonorrhea: 淋病 lìnbìng
  • Syphilis: 梅毒 méidú
  • Chlamydia: 衣原体 yīyuántǐ
  • Herpes: 疱疹 pàozhěn
  • HIV/AIDS: 艾滋病毒 / 艾滋病 àizībìngdú/àizībìng
  • Hepatitis B: 乙型肝炎 yǐxínggānyán

How much will it cost?

You will typically pay for a number of STD tests at Chinese public clinics, with HPV and HIV/AIDS being charged separately. Prices are cheapest at public hospitals, where you will generally pay RMB 300 to RMB 1,000 for the consultation and RMB 100 to RMB 800 per test. An international hospital will charge the steepest rates, running well into the thousands, while a middle-ground option such as the international wing at a Chinese hospital is likely to run you a few thousand RMB.

How quickly will I get my results?

How long it takes to get your results varies based on a few factors, including the STD in question and the hospital you visit. At a less tech-savvy hospital, it will likely take a week to get your results. However, some Beijing hospitals, like the Sino-Japan Friendship Hospital, allow you to download an app that will upload your results within hours. To use this system, you need to register using a Chinese phone number and your patient ID number. While these programs generally require Mandarin-language skills, they are a great way to cut down wait times while you for your results.

What is the experience like?

For those coming from another country with a less high-volume medical system, the experience of navigating a Chinese hospital for STD testing may be somewhat overwhelming. Here is an example of what you can expect when visiting the Sino-Japan Friendship Hospital:

  1. You first enter the group floor to register and obtain a patient card. You will pay a separate fee for the registration at this point – around RMB 500. You do not have to disclose the purpose of your visit, you can simply say that you want to see the gynecologist 妇科 fùkē (for women), or urologist 泌尿科医师 mìniào kē yīshī (for men).
  2. Then you take the elevator to the correct wing. When you arrive, you must register at the front desk and pay before you can get a number to see the doctor. Save the slip of paper you receive, it will often have a reference number to get information about your results. Refer to this sheet to know which examination room you should go to.
  3. Wait at the exam room for your number to be called.
  4. Consult with the doctor. It’s useful to know in advance which STDs you want to get tested for, as they may not immediately suggest ones to include. Depending on which tests you ask for, they will take genital swabs at this point. 
  5. The doctor will ask you to take your swab to the laboratory on that floor. If you need to have a blood sample taken, they will also take it at this point.
  6. After submitting these samples, you will pay for a final time.
  7. Make sure you have a nurse or receptionist help you set up the hospital associate app before you leave, as this will be essential for you to efficiently get your results.
  8. When reviewing your results, have a Chinese speaker assist or a dictionary ready, and if you have tested positive for any STDs, do not delay in making an appointment to see a GP to discuss the next steps.

Stay safe, and sexy Beijing! 

READ: The Ins and Outs of Getting a Driver’s License in Beijing

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