Statistics show that STIs are on the rise in Germany, showing higher numbers than they have in a very long time, and yet according to many women living in Germany, testing still seems to be very difficult to come by. Evidence suggests that these statistics may be related, showing that lower test rates correlate with higher infection rates; the fewer people are able to get tested, the higher the rate of infection, which is unsurprising.

Many women posting on the International Women in Berlin group had the same problem - they wished to seek out an STI test, but could not access the information about where to get one or whether or not they had to pay. The answer to this question is not straightforward; some places will offer an STI test for free on your insurance, and some will not.  Many women have reported that Gynecologists will not carry out an STI test unless you have symptoms, others reported that they will carry out the test without symptoms, but the patient has to pay upfront.

The general rule of thumb with GPs and Gynecologists seems to be that you can have the test, but if symptomless you will have to pay for it.  

Many women in the group posted that they felt this sent the message that having a responsible sex life comes at a high price, which is unfair. It is highly normal to need an STI test at some point, it is simply a part of having a sex life, so it makes little sense that a routine checkup should cost money.

There is a workaround that many women claim to have tried, in order to avoid paying for the test, which is to google the symptoms of a common STI (itching, pain, etc) and tell your doctor that you have those symptoms so that you can have a free test, this works as long as you have insurance.

This article will cover a list of places all around Berlin which will offer STI tests, alongside their policies and how much they charge (if anything).  The object of this is so that women know what their options are, regardless of their situations.

Places to obtain an STI test:

Many women have reported that Gesundheitsamt all over the city are offering to test either cheaper than a GP/Gynecologist, so keep in mind that this could be an option for you.

Counselling Center for Sexual Health- This practice offers free STI tests for people with lower incomes.  
- If this does not apply to you, then you will pay 10 euros for the HIV test and the rest will be done for free.
- Unfortunately, they do not do a full STI screening, it is only for the most common or ‘essential’ STIs.

- This practice came highly recommended by many women living in Berlin
- This practice offers a more specialized sexual health service, free of charge.
- You can make appointments online.  
- They check for all STIs

Centrum für Sexualwissenschaft
- This practice offers free tests
- They check for all STIs

Checkpoint BLN
- Offering free STI checks to those who cannot afford to pay for them
- Queer and trans-friendly space

Test It Berlin
- Full STI tests
- Free of charge
- Queer and trans-friendly space

Living with STIs

Of course, it is important to obtain a test and be treated if you do have an STI, but it is also important to remember that if you do have one it is not the end of the world. STIs are highly stigmatized, but we must remember that they are simply a part of having a sex life, and the majority of people will need to have a test in their lifetime - it is nothing to be ashamed of.

The most important thing is that you take care of your health and ensure that you are using protection when having sex. If you have a regular sexual partner, ensure that you both get tested before having unprotected sex for the first time, through the means discussed in this article!

If you have an STI and feel like you would benefit from speaking with / hearing from others in the same situation, then there are many support groups you can join, as well as online influencers who speak openly and positively about living with STIs:

- Herpes Support Group:
- STI Awareness + Positivity:
- Sexual health counseling:


Here are some additional resources about living with STIs and STI positivity:

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