Shanghai STD Advice For Expats
Shanghai expats who are worried they might have a STD (sexually transmitted disease) do not need to suffer in silence. There are a few options to help you get tested for STDs in Shanghai.
We have a list of STD hospitals and clinics expats can contact to test for STDs in Shanghai, at the end of this article.
STDs are caused by infections; STIs (sexually transmitted infections). STIs become STDs when they cause symptoms.
Often symptoms, such as redness or sores of any kind on or near your genitals, will turn out to be nothing more than a skin rash caused by Shanghai weather, humidity or pollution, but it is always better to get tested early.
The prevalence of STDs in China is growing fast, especially due to the Chinese youth's reluctance to use condoms, so if you have a Chinese partner, do not take for granted that they have protected themselves in the past.
Most STDs can be cured effectively if treated quickly. While some STDs, such as Herpes, might be with you for life, they can also be brought under control, and precautions taken so you don't spread them to others.
There are local specialized Shanghai STD hospitals, including the Shanghai Skin Disease and STD Hospital (上海市皮肤病性病医院), as well as other large local Shanghai hospitals, including Huashan hospital (华山医院), where you can get tested.
Testing in these hospitals can be quite cheap, but as discussed in our Shanghai Public hospitals article, you must be prepared for a lack of privacy and personal attention.
After waiting in line for what could be a very long time, the doctor will give you a prescription for blood tests with little discussion. You will receive the results 3-4 days later, but even if they come back negative you might have little peace of mind while still worrying about what caused the rash or other symptoms.
As reflected in this forum discussion, some Shanghai expats can accept this type of service in return for a cheap price, while others will not feel comfortable with the lack of thoroughness and personal care.
Fortunately, there is another option for Shanghai expats to get tested for STDs. Sino-Aid sells a wide variety of STD testing kits, and cooperates with several foreign and private clinics in Shanghai.
Their hotline has quite good English language service and they will arrange an appointment with one of their partner foreign clinics in Shanghai to do the testing, such as DeltaWest Clinic in Hongqiao.
You can also go directly to one of the foreign clinics or VIP wards of other hospitals, such as the Ren'ai. However, first checking out the websites of Sino-Aid and their partner Sexual Health in Shanghai, as well as giving Sino-Aid a call at 5108 2260, can give you lots of useful information at no extra cost.
They also claim to offer anonymous STD testing, but normally when you go to the clinic they will ask for your contact details for their forms. If you want anonymity, therefore, you should tell Sino-Aid on the phone and also mention this when you arrive at the clinic.
If your tests turn out negative, the foreign Shanghai doctor will spend the time to find out the true reason for your rash and prescribe the proper treatment. You will wait less time and get much more privacy and personal attention. So although you will have to pay more, you might find it well worthwhile.
Sino-Aid sells various STD testing kits. A variety of test kits covering the most common or almost all possible STDs can cost between RMB 2,000-4,000, but you will also have to pay a service fee for the testing at the clinic, so you should ask for the full cost before you begin the tests.