Most tests associated with at-home STI testing are 92% accurate or more accurate, just as accurate as tests in a laboratory. The tests themselves seem quite reliable, says Dr. Patel, but the worrying thing is that the people doing the tests at home may not be collecting a good sample to send to laboratories. Patel says there are other concerns, such as how well regulated the laboratory facilities are and whether those responsible for the tests provide information on the type of analysis their laboratories use.
The tests may yield false positive results, showing the presence of an infection where there is none. A more serious possibility is a false negative result, in which there is an infection but it is not detected. Patel suggests that another possible drawback of home STD testing is the way patients respond to the results after receiving them. A positive result can be alarming and confusing, so patients may not correctly interpret their test results.
Talking to an informed provider can help patients better understand the infection and provide guidance on treatment, outreach to their sexual partners, and how often they should get tested again. While some laboratories and home testing websites offer advice over the phone or provide links to local doctors for treatment, they generally don't offer the same level of post-diagnostic care as in-person visits, STI testing by Dr. at home are an affordable option for people who need to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases but who don't want or can't see a doctor. Home tests are reliable as long as instructions are followed carefully and samples are collected correctly.
You don't need insurance to get tested at home, but if you test positive, you'll need to follow up with a doctor for treatment. Unfortunately, home STI tests aren't as accurate as those performed by a healthcare provider. The test result may be negative even if you are infected. Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you have before or after the self-test.
Although no test is 100% reliable, Dr. Perry states that “most modern STI tests are very accurate, especially if the samples are collected correctly. For at-home STI testing, a kit is sent to your home, where you collect the sample and then send it to a lab for testing. The following is a list of home and laboratory tests available without a doctor's visit, with information on the costs, the time it takes for the results, and the STDs they can detect.
Thanks to the various at-home STI testing kits available, checking your sexual health status has become more accessible and convenient. In addition, you should talk to your doctor about any symptoms you may have, or choose to have home STI tests that provide confidentiality. Most test kits will include all the equipment you need, plus instructions on how to perform the tests safely and accurately. Here we'll take an in-depth look at how at-home STI testing works, including how much it costs, where to find them, and more.
Women usually don't have symptoms of STDs that force them to get tested; when an STD is detected, it's usually because the woman has been tested based on her reports of sexual activity. Women age 25 and older who have new or multiple sexual partners or a sexual partner with an STD should also be tested every year. Visiting a clinic is the best option for screening, but if there are privacy issues, inconveniences, or limited access to a provider are problems, online and laboratory testing for STDs may be a good option. Not going to the doctor's office and getting tested for STDs directly could save you time and money, especially if you don't have health insurance.
STDCheck offers a range of FDA-approved STI tests and states that it is the first to offer an early detection test for HIV. Free, low-cost clinics that routinely offer HIV and STD testing may also have reduced hours or services due to the pandemic. There are also many free and low-cost clinics that remain open, perhaps with limited hours, for in-person testing for STDs and HIV. .