Although the talk of STDs is still taboo, it’s still important that sexually active individuals get tested on a regular basis.
Diagnosing these STDs is a challenge because of the stigma associated with getting tested. However, at-home testing kits have risen in popularity, getting people the treatment they need. However, the healthcare community is still at odds on whether or not the kits are as accurate as they claim to be.
There are a host of startup companies selling these STD kits – LetsGetChecked, EverlyWell and myLab – and the costs for the kit depends on what a person is getting tested for. Most cost as low as $100.
These tests are great for teenagers, people with no health insurance or people who don’t want to talk about the condition with their doctor or other healthcare provider.
While HIV tests have been available for many years now, the mail order tests for the other STDs – syphilis, chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhea are now just becoming an option.
When you went to the doctor for an STD test, you would be given an exam and asked instructive but pertinent questions about partners you’ve had and your sexual history. You would have to wait for the results to come in, worrying for days until the results came back.
With an at-home testing kit, you can collect samples on your own – be it urine, blood or other fluids – and learn if you have an STD. These samples are sent to a certified lab, and you learn about the results within a week through the Internet. Everything stays confidential, and you don’t talk to about the results to anyone during the testing process.
Once ordered, the test kit is sent in a discreet package to a person’s home with directions on how they do the test. A typical test kit will ask for a urine sample, swab or finger prick. Once the test is done, the box is sent back. The majority of labs will take up to a week to provide a person with their results. Some companies offer treatment consultations as well as prescription services.
The Federal Drug Administration suggests the following guidelines before buying a testing kit:
Many county public health departments across the nation offer low-to-no cost testing and consultations for STDs. This also includes partner notifications services in the event that a person tests positive for a disease.
Anybody who uses these tests are raving about the confidentiality including sex workers, small-town residents, LGBTQIA community members and sexually-active teenagers.
Besides one’s privacy, the test is convenient – taking minutes to order. Once the kit arrives, you provide a sample and send the kit back. This is a huge relief to those who don’t have time to sit in a doctor’s office.
Many health experts say at-home STD testing is very reliable with outstanding accuracy rates compared to the tests that doctors and clinics use if a person were to get tested in person. Of course, it’s best to order an at-home testing kit from a reliable company, as there are many of them out there. You want a company that uses only FDA approved testing techniques.
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.