Throat Testing

The option to self-collect a throat swab for testing is now available on IWTK.

You can now order a throat swab to be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

NOTE: The addition of a throat swab to your order may increase the cost of postage to return your sample(s) for testing.


Many STDs can be spread through oral sex.

STDs can be spread to a sex partner even when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms.
If you are infected with an STD, you might not know it because many STDs may have no symptoms.

Vist https://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/stdfact-stdriskandoralsex.htm for more information about oral sex and your STD risk.


Although commercially available nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are recommended for testing genital specimens, they have not been cleared by the FDA for the detection of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae infections of the rectum and throat.  Commercially available NAATs can be used for patient testing if the laboratory has established specifications for the performance characteristics according to CLIA regulations.

The International STD Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University has performed the required validation study to test rectal swabs by the NAAT assay currently in use by the IWTK program. The validation study to test throat/oropharyngeal swabs has also been completed, so IWTK is now able to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea and report results from self-collected throat swabs.


Infections with C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae are common in extragenital (rectal and throat/oropharyngeal) sites in certain populations such as MSM. Because extragenital infections are common in MSM, and most infections are asymptomatic, routine annual screening of extragenital sites in MSM is recommended.

No recommendations exist regarding routine extragenital screening in women because studies have focused on genitourinary screening; but rectal and oropharyngeal infections are not uncommon.