STI/STD Test FAQ's & At-Home STI Test Options
What is an STI/STD Test?
Typically it is an exam/panel to test for different sexually transmitted diseases. A STI/STD test till either return a positive or a negative result, depending on the detection of a particular disease.
Many will require a urine sample, or a swab. Some tests may require a blood sample to be collected. Once collected the samples are then sent to a lab, where they are processed for a variety of panels.
The resulting report from the testing lab will look like our Prank Reports!
Why do people get STI/STD Tests?
According to the US Dept. of Health, roughly half of all sexually active adults will get one at some point. Meaning, sexually transmitted diseases are common. STI’s/STD’s can often show no symptoms, meaning many people with infections may not know it based off of feel.
In addition, putting off treatment of many infection CAN cause lasting health effects. The only way to know for certain if you or a partner have an STD is to get tested.
If you are at all curious about a problem you think you’re having, please go get tested!
What is an 'At Home' STI/STD Test?
Home testing kits are exactly what they sound like – kits that allow you to test for STDs in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Most kits require either a swab, a urine test, a small pinprick blood test, or a combination.
There are two types of testing processes:
Fully online: You order, collect your samples, then mail back to the company’s lab, and your results are posted on a secure online portal.
Combination of online and local lab: You order the test, kit, and forms online. Then visit a local lab for the actual test.
How much are STI/STD tests?
When shopping for a home STI/STD test kit, you’re looking at several factors. Mainly though, which diseases would you like to tests do you want to test for? Then, what sample method do you prefer, urine/blood/swab? Depending on panels and sample type it can range between tens of dollars to potentially a few hundred dollars.
How Accurate Are 'At Home STI Tests?
Accuracy varies. Some companies are CLIA-approved (meaning they’re regulated by The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services) and have medical labs with highly trained professionals.
Other companies might not have technicians with the same level of training and experience, leaving more room for error.
We recommend choosing only CLIA-approved companies when possible.
Most Popular At-Home STI/STD Test Options
myLab Box offers at-home testing that uses FDA-approved screening methods or will utilize CLIA High Complexity lab affiliates. You simply take a quick, easy swab or blood sample at home, mail it to their lab, and receive your results online in a few days.
These test kits are affordable and anonymous. This testing kit is more affordable than visiting the doctor when you are uninsured.
Given that they use a CLIA lab affiliate or FDA-approved screenings, these boxes provide a near 100% accuracy rate with their testing. In addition most customers enjoy the fact that they can collect their own specimens, mail them off, and they don’t have to worry about doctors or appointments.
In addition, myLab Box offers a huge range of tests: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, HPV, yeast, and mycoplasma genitalium. They offer several test packs including five, eight, and fourteen panel tests, a set of tests for couples, and one specifically for abnormal discharge. In the result of a positive test they also have STI/STD counselors available for a FREE consultation.
Due to the amount of tests available, and kinds of samples, the process can be a little hard to follow. In addition, though anonymous, customers are required to provide certain piece of information (but this is typically legally required from the CDC).
Given that the sample is sent off to CLIA lab affiliate, or screened at myLab, there is a turnaround time that can range from 5 - 11 days. In addition, though the box is a blank one, the return address can state myLab, which could give an indicator that one is testing.
This home STD test kit very well known, uses FDA-approved screening methods, and has been in business for years. It is one of the most well-reviewed on the market with an extremely high level of accuracy and affordable cost. It's one of the top options available in the market today.
Private iDNA is a STI/STD testing service which enables you to test yourself at home. Their at-home kits use FDA-cleared test components, and the tests conducted by their lab have been fully validated according to state and federal guidelines which include CLIA and College of American Pathologists (CAP) standards.
The kits from Private iDNA are anonymous and timely. Their test tests are 99% accurate when testing is done within the proper time frames after exposure. In addition they offer a comprehensive web & mobile platform to allow users to view results online. Moreover, they are the only it tested that allows users to full ownership of their data/results (for example users have the option to erase all data & close their accounts).
In addition, shipping is discreet, and always free both ways. They provide a 30-day money back guarantee. Also, they are the only kit tested that provide a FREE STI/STD testing after any positive result (allowing one to make sure its out of their system).
Price can be higher than other kits, ranging from $149 for basic exams, up to $399 for a full comprehensive panel of tests. Results come quicker than other methods, but can take 4 - 9 days.
Despite cost PrivateiDNA’s test kits can be worth the additional expense. Their kits are all FDA-approved and testing is done in CLIA-certified and HIPAA-compliant labs.
For privacy, the kits arrive in generic mail packaging with no business name on the front. The return address is to a fulfillment center, not to a lab.
Most conveniently though, you will be notified when they are ready, and you can access results in your secure online account. Also, if privacy if your main concern, it is only fully HIPAA compliant, ensuring your data is handled safely. In addition, throughout the testing process you are identified by a random number. Your name and email are only used for payments and to allow you to receive your results.
Once complete, you fully own your results and you can delete your results from your secure online account at any time. (this is the only service we saw with this feature)
My Home Tests is an anonymous online STD testing service developed by Molecular Testing Labs, a CAP and CLIA accredited laboratory in Vancouver, Washington. The MyHomeTests site offers many different test options, they include: 7, 9, 10 or 13-test panels.
MyHomeTests offer a wide variety of individual STD tests plus several convenient packages that bundle the most common STD tests. Their website is secure, the sample package is sent discreetly, your results are not sent via mail or even email, and you can delete your results anytime you want.
The top benefit is the turnaround speed, which is a lightning fast 2-3 days from lab receipt. The fastest times of any of the other panels in the market.
While the individual tests are fairly affordable, their panel packages can be pricey. Some of the panels can get up to $399, which certainly exceeds prices we've seen from other tests.
Very easy to read instructions, an expansive site, and super fast turnaround time are the stables of this test. They follow FDA-approved methods and offer a variety of test options. MyHomeTests can be more expensive than other panels but also offer the quickest turnaround and can be a good option if time is a consideration.
OraQuick is an FDA-approved oral test kit for HIV 1 and 2.
Instead of the standard blood test used by most at-home HIV test kits, OraQuick uses an oral/mouth swab. If you hate needles, this is the test to get! However, it’s only for HIV. They do not provide kits for gonorrhea, chlamydia or syphilis.
This kit is ideal for someone that only wants to test for HIV, so they don’t have to pay added fees for other diseases. This allows them to keep the price low in the $40-50 range. There is also no blood involved in the testing. Results can be ready in as little as 20 minutes! The fast time of any of kits reviewed.
The OraQuick kit is only for testing for HIV, other diseases will require additional testing/products. The lack of blood involved can be a pro for those who fear needles, however, a saliva/swab could be potentially less accurate than a blood sample.
This is an ideal testing kit for someone looking to test specifically for HIV, or someone who does not like needles (or both). The kit is very easy to use and results can typically occur within an hour of taking. However, if you want the most accurate home test for HIV, or want to test for other diseases, you’ll choose one that requires blood.
EverlyWell is a brand that consists of over two dozen home-based medical tests that are designed to provide you with “lab testing made easy.” These tests cover medical issues as wide-ranging as food sensitivities to female fertility levels and heart conditions, and they purportedly provide you with the same caliber of results that you’d get from an in-person doctor’s appointment, but at a fraction of the cost.
Very flexible, they have over 25 different home-based tests for customers to choose from. The test kit itself has an overall accuracy of 99% considering all tests combined. Each specific test has its own sensitivity and specificity, all of which are near or well above 95%. In addition, your individual results are independently validated by a physician in your state to ensure validity and reliability before going out to you.
EverlyWell tests are currently only available to residents in 46 U.S. States due to differing medical regulations. New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Rhode Island are excluded. The company is relatively new, in comparison to others in the space. Not typically available through 3rd party sites, can require direct purchase from EverlyWell.
EverlyWell as a brand is striving to simplify the process of medical testing by letting you order and complete medical tests on your own time, and then receive the results fast enough to rival physical labs. They do not operate in 4 states, but for the ones they do operate in they are efficient, cost-effective, and a solid option if looking to do a full panel. The brand is also supported from large investors and has many rave customer reviews. Very much worth considering as a strong option in the take-home category.