At-Home STD Kits Not Fully Reliable

At-Home STD Kits Not Fully Reliable

Although more and more at-home STD kits are available to buy and use, doctors are urging people to understand that this shouldn’t be the key way in preventing disease.

New Hanover County Health Department Nurse Carla Turner said she understands why EverlyWell and myLab Box are popular, but she urges people to take results lightly. She said taking a test indiscreetly does reduce the stigma attached to STD testing, which is something people in the health community have been trying to do for years.

However, if a person is tested positive for an STD, they need to seek out treatment. She also said they need to have a re-test to ensure it wasn’t a false positive; that something else is going wrong in the body and giving that kind of result.

Turner said they want to also make sure the sample was properly attained. Trained professionals do this all day long, and certain protocols must be followed to ensure no contamination of the sample. She said providers are not going to give medicine based on tests they did not carry out themselves.

The CDC reports that, in 2016, there were over two million cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia in the U.S. This is the highest number to date.

Turner said it’s important more than ever to seek treatment of these diseases, which comes from knowing the results.

If a person has an STD and continues to have unsafe sex, they are opening up others to catching the disease. Healthwise, they should be taking care of it, or they could suffer long-term consequences.

Most of the kits are not FDA regulated, but they do ensure people openly talk to their doctor about STDs and sex. Turner said this is a conversation that everybody needs to have with their doctor.

Written by Mark Riegel, MD

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