The rate of infection for STD, in just the U.S. alone, have risen significantly. And, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 20 million new cases of STD every year.
On top of that, there’s the possibility looming that both chlamydia and gonorrhea infections will become antibiotic-resistant.
Knowing the importance, just one in four people who are sexually active have yet to be tested for STDs, based on the recent information from the birth control app Nurx’ survey.
Dr. Jennifer Butt, an Upper East Side OB/GYN gynecologist, said fear and denial are usually the key reasons people do not seek out testing, especially in the younger generation. She said some patients don’t get tested because they are in a committed relationship or are worried about asking partners about their STI history.
Though fear and stress are the main motivators people don’t seek out STD testing, they are not the only ones. The process of getting tested can make people feel uncomfortable (if not just embarrassed. It’s also expensive without the right health insurance plan.
However, thanks to the advent of telemedicine, there are numerous direct-to-consumer healthcare companies that are offering private STD testing kits that can be sent to consumer homes. The kit, based on the answers given to an online questionnaire, will be suggested for a person’s particular symptoms and sent right to their home. Most tests take 15 minutes with results ready up to five days later.
What are some at-home options to consider for your next at-home STD testing needs?
Nurx, known as the “Uber of birth control,” is giving women even more accessible medical care with its STI Home Test kits. It has three options to choose from:
The kits are delivered to your door with everything you need to test and send samples back (prepaid envelope is included). The samples are analyzed and a Nurx clinical physician will let you know, within seven business days, what your results are. Regardless of your insurance status, there is a $12 medical consultation fee. This fee includes unlimited access to the company’s medical team.
For positive test results, the provider can give you an antibiotic treatment, but for those that require in-patient care, the provider will recommend you to a nearby clinic.
The cost for these tests includes $75 for insurance and $150 to $220 without any insurance along with the $12 medical consultation fee.
This at-home testing kit is offered for all kinds of things besides STDs (HPV tests, hormone tests, celiac tests, diabetes tests, etc.) There are six kits for up to 10 different STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes, HIV, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Kits range in prices from $99 to $299 (this is for all 10 STDs). No insurance is accepted currently.
A prepaid shipping label is provided so samples can be mailed back within 24 hours. Once processed, results can be viewed within five days. If positive for any test, a registered nurse will give you a personalized call for treatment options and emotional support.
This test is also available through the CVS pharmacy (online or in-store).
Since 2013, myLab has provided at-home STD testing kits, and currently has three testing kits to choose from.
For $79, individuals can buy the individual STD tests. myLab Box is also offered on the Wal-Mart website.
A trained counselor is on hand for any test results that are positive, giving patients their treatment options.
These kits are designed to take the embarrassment out of getting tested, but some medical experts feel that the testing, analyzing and diagnosis isn’t as easy as the tests make them out to be. They also say they should not be a substitute for a doctor’s office visit for testing.
Dr. Butt said a complete physical exam and health history are important tools in finding the problem, and that some STI symptoms could be attributed to something else entirely.
The reality is that no matter where you go for testing, you need to be tested for STDs if you are sexually active… even if you’re supposedly in a committed relationship. These kits are designed to ease people’s minds and worries, promoting health and safety.
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