If you are sexually active, you should periodically get yourself checked for STDs, just like back at home! In Japan, there are a few different ways to get tested for STDs. You can go to a Hokenjo, a “ladies clinic,” a urology clinic or buy a STD testing kit online.
Go to a hokenjo (public healthcare centre)
PROS: You can get tested for HIV, Hepatitis B & C and syphilis for FREE
CONS: Tests for other types of STDs are probably not available and opening hours may only be a couple of hours a week during weekdays.
- Go to the nearest Hokenjo. You do not need to write your name or address if you want to stay anonymous.
- After one or two weeks, go back to the Hokenjo to get the results.
- If the tests come back negative, you’re done! If the tests come back positive, go to the appropriate clinic for treatment.
Go to a hospital or clinic*
*more information can be found below under “What type of clinic should I go to?”
PROS: longer opening hours and you can make an appointment
CONS: it is not free and unless you have possible STD symptoms, your insurance will not cover any of the cost
- Find a ladies clinic, urology clinic or venereology clinic.
- Ask if STD testing is available at that clinic.
- Make an appointment or do a walk-in.
Note: You may want to ask them how much the STD testing will cost beforehand. A test for one type of STD could be around 2,000 to 4,000 yen while doing a comprehensive STD check could cost around 20,000 to 40,000 yen.
Buy a STD Testing Kit Online
PROS: you don’t need to worry about any language barriers, making appointments or taking time off work to do the test
CONS: not free
- Go to the Japan Healthcare Info website here.
- Select which STD tests you want, order and pay online.
- After receiving the STD testing kit, take the appropriate samples and send them back to the designated address.
- Receive your test results by email after one week.
Note: if you have possible STD symptoms, getting checked at a clinic could be cheaper as you may be able to use your health insurance.
What type of clinic should I go to?
If going to a healthcare center or ordering a kit online is not for you, you can go straight to a clinic of your choice!
For ladies: You can go to your local women’s health clinic (産婦人科) for a diagnosis and getting a prescription. Depending on which clinic you go to, they may or may not have the specific tests that you want to do. If that is the case, you may receive a referral so you can get the proper testing done. You can also go to a urology clinic to receive testing and treatment. Note: getting a comprehensive STD check is commonly called, “a bridal check” at Japanese clinics.
For gentlemen: Unfortunately, there is no men’s health clinic in Japan so you will need to choose which clinic to go to depending on your symptom. Dermatology, urology, or venereology would be the clinics you would go to if you have any signs of an STD.
Depending on your symptoms, you should to go to…
- Dermatologist: for skin-based symptoms such as rash or vesicles
- Urologist: for urinary tract-based symptoms such as abnormal fluids from urethra or pain while urinating
- Venereologist: rather rare to find, but a clinic/department specific to STD treatment
For more general information about STD testing in Japan, check out the Japanese Healthcare Info site here!