STI and STD Testing in Germany
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STI and STD Testing in Germany

STD testing in Germany is a bit of a maze when it comes to information. According to the sexual health organization Liebes Leben, no testing process exists that allows a doctor to test someone for all STIs at the same time. 

If you’re concerned and still want to get tested, it’s recommended that you see a urologist, dermatologist that specializes in venerology or your general practitioner to get started. The tests range in prices quite dramatically. During one research report by Der Spiegel, the reporter estimated the cost of general STD testing to be about €240. 

Liebes Leben, on the other hand, recommended a diagnostic exam with a general practitioner with an estimated cost of €25. 

Not ready to go to a doctor? This German company S.A.M. sells home STI testing kits online that are sent to your home. These will cost somewhere between €50 – €60, but you get a consultation with one of their workers after you register to make sure you’re getting the right tests sent to you.

How do I get tested for hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a type of virus that spreads through bodily fluids or contaminated foods and water. When someone has hepatitis, their liver will swell, and they are at increased risk for cancer or cirrhosis.

If you are worried about contracting hepatitis, there are currently two vaccines for hepatitis A and B (with the option to combine them) that insurances almost always cover. According to Gesundheit.de, the approximate cost for this when insurance won’t cover it is €180 – €240. If you’re in Berlin or willing to travel, the vaccine is €30 through the Gesundheitsamt or Department of Health.

If you’re worried that you could have hepatitis, we recommend you make an appointment with your general practitioner to evaluate if you belong to a risk group and if a test for hepatitis is necessary.

How do I get tested for HIV?

Most major cities in Germany offer free, anonymous HIV testing for those who earn very little or don’t have the resources to pay for it. In the testing centers for HIV, there is almost always a free consultation where you can ask about Prep (the medication that prevents HIV infections).

How do I get tested for syphilis? 

Because of how common syphilis is in Germany, many of the same testing centers that offer free HIV testing also offer syphilis testing. You can also speak to your general practitioner if you’re experiencing any symptoms or feel that you’re at risk for contracting syphilis. 

There are two main types of tests that both look for antibodies from the syphilis bacteria. The first test is a plasma test and the second is either a blood or spinal fluid laboratory test. Public insurance generally covers this test or you can find them free at certain testing centers. 

How do I get tested for herpes?

Because herpes is so common, most general practitioners will be able to do a general examination of the area you’re having problems with to see if you might have potentially contracted genital herpes. 

Public health insurance covers regular check-ups like this. Don’t know which provider to choose? We’ve written this guide to help you!

How do I get tested for chlamydia? 

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can lead to infertility in both men and women. There is also the potential to get Chlamydia in the mouth, so it’s important to watch out for both areas when changing sexual partners. 

Chlamydia is quite common, so women are given free annual screenings until the age of 25 without showing symptoms. 

If you are not a woman or are over the age of 25, you’ll need to either see a general practitioner, urologist, venereologist, or gynecologist. A doctor will perform the test with a urine sample. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of chlamydia, public health insurance will pay for the test. 

How do I get tested for gonorrhea? 

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can affect both the genital area (including the rectum) and the oral cavity. Sometimes, when a person with gonorrhea has given birth, the infection can also spread to newborns including the eyes

In English, the slang term for gonorrhea is “the clap” while the German slang term is “Tripper,” so if you’re looking for resources online, note that websites use the terms interchangeably depending on your search language. 

The Robert Koch Institute recommends people taking prep test themselves for gonorrhea every three months. Otherwise, if you are experiencing any symptoms of gonorrhea or belong to a heightened risk group, public insurance will almost always cover the costs for a test.

It’s recommended that you consult with your general practitioner, gynecologist, or venereologist if you think you might be at risk.

HIV testing and other STI resources by city:

Berlin

€10 or free for low-income earners. This service is provided by the Zentrum für sexuelle Gesundheit und Familienplanung or Center for Sexual Health and Family Planning.

Cologne 

No cost for HIV tests with the possibility for other STI tests. This service is provided by the Fachdienst STI und sexuelle Gesundheit or the Specialist Service for STIs and Sexual Health.

Dortmund

No cost for HIV tests that remain anonymous with the possibility for an STI consultation. This service is provided by the Gesundheitsamt or the Health Department.

Düsseldorf

The city government offers free HIV, STI, and Hepatitis tests. The tests are all anonymous with the option for a consultation to discuss your risks.

The Gesundheitsamt of Health Department provides tests, but they do not list how much it will cost. You won’t have to provide any personal information when making an appointment either. The Health Department offers appointments for HIV specifically, you’re free to speak with the people there about other STIs as well. They mention this in the booking description.

Essen

The city government offers free HIV tests with the possibility for other STI consultations.

Frankfurt am Main

Hamburg

No cost and anonymous HIV tests as well as STI consultations where the staff will point you to other resources like urologists, venereologists, women’s health doctors, etc. CASAblanca offers this service which is a part of Hamburg’s Sozialbehörde or Social Security Agency.

Leipzig

The city government offers free and anonymous HIV tests and consultations for STIs along with information on where you can get tested.

Munich

€26 for HIV tests along with consultation hours that you need to call to make an appointment for. Munich seems to be the exception to the other cities that offer their services for free and without additional barriers. The Munich city government offers this service.

Stuttgart

No cost for HIV or syphilis tests. The government has offered service since 2015 by AIDS-Hilfe. The city government also offers a service for HIV and other STD testing at no additional cost, but you will have to contact them to schedule an appointment.

Other locations

If we didn’t list your city, it’s a good idea to google “checkpoint [enter city name].” The checkpoint movement in Germany is to spread awareness for sexual health and offer testing and consultation options across the country. There is a good chance that there is a checkpoint in your city! Otherwise, just google “[city name} STD Testing” and set chrome to automatically translate into English.

More information on STD testing in Germany

While no general STD test exists in Germany, programs like the ones above help people find the information they need to be safe and prevent the spread of STIs in Germany.

The costs can vary depending on which risk group you belong to, but most of the Gesundheitsämter (Departments of Health for their respective cities) offer some form of anonymous consultation. Most major cities offer these consultations in multiple languages and list them on their website. 

Thanks to breakthroughs in science and a societal acceptance of people who live with STIs, it’s easier than ever to get the resources you need to either prevent an STI, test for one, or treat it once it has been contracted. 

For more information on STD testing, we recommend speaking to Liebes Leben — an organization with the goal of preventing and treating STIs in Germany and who speak English. 

Want to sign up for insurance, but not sure where to start? Check out our health exploration tool!