Roughly 20 million Americans every year are infected with some kind of sexually transmitted disease. 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.
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
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.
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.
Do Home Test Kits Work
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.
Federal Drug Administration suggests the following guidelines before
buying a testing kit:
- Purchase only FDA-regulated testing kits
- Carefully read the labels and instructions of the kit
- Keep accurate records of the test
- Any person concerned about the results are advised to talk to their doctor
- Never take medications based on the testing of a home kit without first talking to a doctor
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.