But it goes without saying that not all of them cut the mustard when it comes to ease-of-use, confidentiality and most importantly, accuracy of the test results.
STDcheck is one of the oldest brands in the business.
Despite not having a strict, mail-to service (you’ll need to visit one of their testing centers to drop off your biosample), it still manages to outdo most of the newer competition.
That’s because their confidentiality clause is the best in the business. (It’s up to you to even reveal your name.)
Top it off with an incredibly-quick turnaround time, including same-day testing and you have one of the best services in the business.
If you were wondering whether you could consider STDcheck for a hassle-free STD screening, then here’s a detailed review of what you can expect from them.
STDcheck was formed in 2010 by entrepreneur Fiyyaz Pirani, who also formed Medology and Healthlabs later.
The business has been around for almost a decade and during this course of time, they have expanded their network of health testing centers around the country by partnering with CLIA-certified labs like LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics.
Currently, it stands at 4500 test centers and chances are that you’ll find one pretty close to your home, avoiding the need for a long drive to drop off your sample. You’d still be making human contact though, which can be annoying to some people.
They are the only STD testing service that offers FDA-approved, confidential STD screening for minors aged 16-17, without the need for parental consent. That’s an empowering service for sexually active minors who may have been unable to access similar services in the past due to obvious reasons.
They also offer great pricing on an elaborate range of individual STD tests as well as test bundles.
STDcheck offers a total of 10-individual tests and 3 test bundles that covers most of the common STDs in prevalence in the United States.
You have the option to pick one based on the symptoms that you might be experiencing, or opt for a test bundle that covers all the common infections.
If you have been sexually active, or it’s been a while since you’ve been screened for an STD, then it is highly recommended that you opt for a test bundle.
STDs can lurk in your body without any symptoms manifesting until the condition has progressed to advanced stages. Take Chlamydia and Gonorrhea for example, which cause symptoms identical to other common infections.
The test bundles are affordable and it gives you the assurance that all possible infections have been ruled out.
In 2017, the number of reported Chlamydia cases in the United States rose by 22% as compared to 2014. This bacterial infection does not cause any symptoms in up to 75% of the cases in women and up to 50% cases in men.
Moreover, it can spread easily through unprotected sexual contact as well as through oral and anal sex.
STDcheck’s Chlamydia testing kit requires a small urine sample which can be collected easily anytime. They use the Nucleic Acid Amplification test (NAAT) which according to the CDC is the most accurate screening method for Chlamydia.
The test is priced at $89 and you can find more information about it over here.
In 2018, there were 580,000 reported cases of Gonorrhea in the United States.
This condition is becoming increasingly common across the country and given the ease with which it can spread (through contact with the penis, the mouth, the vagina or the anus with or without ejaculation), it is extremely important for sexually active individuals to get themselves screened.
Just like Chlamydia, STDcheck requires a ‘first catch’ urine sample for a CDC-recommended Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) test, which can be collected within 5-minutes at any of their test centers.
The test is priced at $89 and you can find more information about it over here.
Also called ‘The Great Imitator’ due to its ability to mimic other infections, Syphilis is one of the commonest Sexually transmitted bacterial infections in the United States. In the early stages of the infection, it is highly contagious and if left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage to your body. Sexually active pregnant women in particular, must seriously consider screening for Syphilis, as it can even lead to the death of the infant.
Thankfully, it is easily curable.
STDcheck uses the RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) with Reflex to Quantitative RPR test, which requires a tiny droplet of blood. The test is completely painless and you should have the results within two days. If the result is positive, a TP (Treponema pallidum) will be performed to rule out false-positives.
The test is priced at $89.
The Human Immunodeficiency virus is one of the sneakiest STDs in the world that can go unnoticed for years. Often the symptoms are too mild and overlap the symptoms caused by numerous other infections. The CDC estimates that there are almost 250,000 people who are living with undiagnosed HIV.
If the condition is not managed, the virus spreads rapidly causing permanent damage to the immune system and progressing into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
Timely diagnosis and powerful antiviral medications can allow HIV patients to live a normal, healthy life, extending their lifespan by decades.
STDcheck offers two HIV tests of which, the HIV RNA Early Detection Test can detect the presence of the virus as early as 9-10 days after exposure. They are the only service in the US to offer this test. The other test is the HIV 4th Generation Antigen/Antibody Test that looks for HIV p24 antibodies.
Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the HSV-2 virus. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids or secretions from lesions or sores in an infected person. However, it can also spread if you receive oral sex from a person who has oral herpes, which is caused due to the HSV-1 virus.
STDcheck uses a Chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) test that can differentiate between oral herpes and genital herpes. The test requires a small blood sample only. There’s no need for a swab or undressing to provide the sample.
The test is priced at $65 only. You also have the option to test for both, HSV-1 and 2 in a test bundle that’s priced at $130.
Hepatitis is a viral infection of the liver that can be mild, severe or chronic depending on how soon it is diagnosed and treated. There are different strains of the virus. The most notorious ones are Hepatitis B & C which can quickly graduate from a mild, acute infection to a chronic one, and cause life threatening liver damage and even cancer. Hepatitis A is the mildest strain which spreads through fecal contamination, or oral-anal contact with an infected person.
STDcheck uses an FDA-cleared antibody test to detect Hepatitis A.
The Hepatitis B test looks for surface antigens which are antibodies which are present in the body in both, acute as well as chronic infections.
STDcheck uses an antibody test to detect Hepatitis C.
All hepatitis tests are priced at $24 each. All three are included in the 10-test panel as well.
The 10-panel STD test is an affordable test bundle that includes all common bacterial and viral STD infections. This bundle is highly recommended for sexually active individuals, former drug users, as well as people who have indulged in high-risk behavior like having multiple sexual partners, sharing needles, syringes, razors and toothbrushes.
The panel screens you for HIV type 1 & type 2 antibody/antigen (4th gen), herpes type 1 & type 2, hepatitis A, hepatitis B & hepatitis C, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
You can book the test online and visit one of the 4500 test centers to provide a small blood and urine sample. You will receive a secure link with the test results within 48-hours of submitting the sample.
The 10-panel test is priced at an affordable $198.
The Chlamydia and Gonorrhea panel screens you for two of these common STDs. Since both are asymptomatic, most experts recommend screening for both if you suspect that you may be exposed to one of them.
The panel is priced at $129.
At a time when most at-home STD screening services allow customers to mail their biosamples in discreet envelopes, physically driving down to a test center does sound obsolete.
It may also make people apprehensive about confidentiality, given that they will be dealing with a person.
But the fact is that this makes the entire process faster. The transit time due to mailing the sample is avoided.
There is no queue or waiting time at any of the centers. And you are not even required to provide your name to get yourself screened.
STDcheck allows you to pay via credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or Amex only), cashier’s check, Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flex Spending Account (FSA) cards, PayPal, over 50 cryptocurrencies and they also have a ‘Pay Later’ option, where you can pay after you take the tests.
In all card statements, the charge will appear as ‘Healthlabs’ keeping the transaction confidential.
They do not accept health insurance due to privacy concerns as insurers have to report the transaction.
To know more about their accepted payment methods, click here.
STDcheck has one of the best privacy policies in the business.
STDcheck enjoys an unprecedented trust score of 4.8/5 on Trustpilot. The customer reviews are majorly positive and talk about the easy process, excellent service at the test centers and the quick turnaround time.
With one of the most private services that do not even require your name or other details, STDcheck rates amongst the best discreet STD testing services in the USA.
It is easy to use, has an a la carte system that allows you to customize the STDs that you wish to be screened for.
It also allows minors to get screened for STDs without parental consent, and it follows Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) web security protocols, ensuring data privacy at all stages.