Sexual health should be a priority for everyone. That means getting tested periodically, especially if you are not in a monogamous relationship with a partner, or if there are concerns that your supposedly monogamous partner may not be remaining faithful to you.
But, as many people are well aware, going to a clinic to get tested can be a costly, time consuming hassle. You have to make an appointment and set aside time to go. You may need to take time off work. And of course, then there is the issue of personal comfort. While having an STD test shouldn’t be embarrassing—it’s actually admirable and responsible—that doesn’t mean that everyone feels that way. It may not be rational, but many people are ashamed of needing to be tested and don’t want to face negative results in such a public way. Thankfully, at home STD tests have solved all of these issues!
It’s actually quite simple. You simply purchase the testing kit, complete the instructions to provide a sample, and then ship the kit off to the designated laboratory. The entire process is extremely discreet.
Types of Tests
Not all STD tests are the same. For example, they may test only for a particular set of diseases. They also may differ in what types of samples they require, with some tests requiring a urine sample, others a saliva sample, and still others a blood sample—or some combination of the three.
Also, when you’re researching the kit of your choice, check out the kits accuracy. Accuracy varies by brand, and also by the disease being tested for. More expensive kits tend to have a higher degree of accuracy as compared to less expensive kits. Of course, it’s also important to be sure that the kit you’re ordering is actually an FDA approved test, and that the results will be sent off to an approved laboratory.
As for the laboratories used, there is some variance here as well. Some tests are assigned to one particular laboratory, and you must return the samples to that specific lab for analysis. Others may have several different labs as options so that you can choose one that’s geographically closer or has faster response times.
Are At Home Tests as Good As Clinic Tests?
In general, at home STD tests are not as accurate as tests at a clinic, but they do have very high levels of accuracy. If getting a clinic test is out of the question, an at home test is a great substitute. Just ensure that you’re getting a legitimate, genuine test. Visit the company’s website and ensure that their licensing, etc. is in order. FDA approval is the first thing you want to check. Then, determine what laboratory will be testing your sample. All labs should have CLIA certification; this is another layer of reassurance that the kit you’re getting will provide accurate results. But you can also get away with testing at home for STDs, which can be cheaper but not always as accurate, especially if the test is positive!
It’s also extremely important that you follow the instructions for collecting your samples to the letter. A kit is only going to be as accurate as the person using it. If your samples aren’t collected properly, stored, and sealed properly, you won’t be able to trust the results. User error is the biggest factor in accuracy when it comes to using an at home STD test.
Of course, if you are getting the test for your partner, it’s important that you see them collect the samples and seal them, if you suspect infidelity or have reason to believe they might deceive you by using someone else’s samples. This can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it’s one that’s necessary to protect your health. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by someone who says “If you trusted me…” Trust in a relationship is, of course, important, but it is never wrong for anyone to prioritize their own health. Your health should always be a primary concern in your life, and one that you actively work to protect and improve.
At home STD tests are a great way to protect your health and build trust with your partner or partners. They’re advantageous for everyone, accurate, quick, and very discreet.