NurseAsk Nurse Lisa

STI Testing

“Our people: we are responsible for each other and ourselves.”

– Kodiak Alutiiq Cultural Value

What is an STI?

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are also known as STDS, or sexually transmitted diseases. To learn more about STIs and STDs, visit the Sexually Transmitted Infections and Related Conditions page.

Why get tested for STIs and HIV?

Because knowledge is power! Most STIs have no visible symptoms, and if left untreated they can eventually cause concerning health issues – like infertility, chronic pain or even death. If you are sexually active, in any way, there is no wrong reason to get tested. If you think you have an STI, you can do something about it. Knowing your status helps you and your partner(s) to stay healthy.


STI and HIV kits are available for free to any mailing address in Alaska. Tests are shipped directly and discreetly to you. It’s the comfort of knowing on your own terms.

What types of tests are there?

HIV and STI testing is free, quick, confidential and easy. Most STI tests are done with a simple urine test or a swab. When you see your doctor or health care provider make sure you are ask what tests they are performing. Many STI tests only test for select conditions.

You may have several options for HIV testing, such as mouth swab or small blood test. Getting tested for STIs does not mean you will also be tested for HIV, you must ask for a HIV test. To help you decide on whether HIV testing is a good fit for you, visit the HIV Testing page.

How do I talk with my partner(s) about getting tested?

Your partner(s) might be as concerned as you are and relieved to talk about getting tested. You can show that you care for each other and value each other’s life by getting tested. It can be a good bonding activity to get tested together. Healthy sexual relationships include supportive partners who value STI and HIV testing.

Quick Fact: 1 of every 4 sexually active teens will get an STI this year.

Source: GYT: Get Yourself Tested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

If I’m under 18 can I get tested?

In the State of Alaska, minors do not have to have parental permission to get tested and treated for STIs and HIV.

Feeling nervous? What will they ask?

Feeling nervous or uneasy about getting tested for STIs is something every one goes through. Remember, by being tested, you are taking charge of your health. Examples of questions your doctor or provider may ask are: “Have you had sex with men? Have you had sex with women? Have you used condoms on a regular basis? Have you ever been diagnosed with a STI?” When you share this information, health care workers are legally required to keep it confidential.

Worried about someone finding out?

Remember your visit to the clinic or doctor is CONFIDENTIAL – meaning the doctors or providers can NOT tell your family or friends about your testing or results. Your parents do not need to give their permission, and your parents will not be contacted by your provider to let them know you are being tested. If you are worried about your health care provider’s ability to keep confidentiality or keeping your visit to the doctor private, consider ordering a free STI self-testing kit.

Have more questions about getting a STI or HIV test?
You can ask your question confidentially through our Ask Nurse Lisa feature for professional advice from a health care provider. We look forward from hearing from you!

Quick fact: Alaska is #1 in the nation for Chlamydia in the US

Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Where can I go to get tested?

Local health departments or village clinics offer STI and HIV testing as do doctors’ offices. Talk with your healthcare provider about testing. Don’t know where to get tested in Alaska? Visit the Find a Clinic page or order a free STI self-testing kit.

Ready to get tested?

Your options:

  • Talk with your current doctor or healthcare provider about wanting to get tested for STIs and HIV.
  • Go to your local family planning clinic, Planned Parenthood clinic, village clinic, or many other testing locations (find a clinic here) to receive STI and HIV testing.
  • Order a free self-test kit from to test for STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • Order a free HIV self-test kit from us!

Get Help

For general resources about relationships, sex, wellness and more, please do a search on the Get Answers page.

Are you in immediate danger?

Call 911 or your local police. If not in an immediate threat, please view resources on the Get Care page.