Whether you’ve recently engaged in sexual activity with a person you didn’t know too well, or have begun experiencing certain symptoms that just aren’t sitting right, an STD test might be a wise option to pursue in the near future. Of course, let’s face it, STD screening isn’t exactly the most comfortable process that one might experience. While the tests themselves might not be so bad, the notion of appearing in front of a medical professional, discussing your symptoms or concerns, and running the risk of being met with a series of judgmental stares is enough to dissuade many from such in-office testing options. Add in the costs and wait time for results and it is no wonder a growing number of people are seeking alternatives.
Fortunately, in-office STD testing is not your only option. These days, there are a number of choices available for those wishing to get tested for STDs in a less public fashion. Tracey Powell is the founder of GetSTDTested.com, an online company that facilitates the ordering and interpretation of STD tests in a manner that protects customers’ privacy. According to Tracey, there are three types of at-home medical tests, two of which are currently used by his company for STD testing, and it’s important that customers understand how they work and how they vary.
The Rapid Test
When most people hear the term “at-home test,” they tend to picture a pregnancy or diabetes test. Also known as point-of-care tests, these rapid tests can be self-administered and are designed to provide results in a matter of minutes. While companies have developed rapid tests for STDs, there is currently no such “at-home” version of this test on the market. Therefore, when you see the words “at-home STD test,” don’t start picturing yourself sitting in your bathroom, biting your nails while waiting for that plus or minus sign to appear on a stick. As of now, the technology behind rapid testing is such that it can be difficult to eliminate inconsistencies. In other words, a simple rapid test – especially one open to self-interpretation – is not your most accurate bet, and although the speed of response makes rapid testing a desirable option, it is currently not being offered by GetSTDTested for this very reason.
The “Collect Your Own Sample” Test
As the description implies, a “collect your own sample” test involves the use of an at-home kit which is ordered online and shipped confidentially to your home. Currently, the at-home kits provided by GetSTDTested are urine-based only (and as several additional ones forthcoming). Upon receipt of the at-home kit, you will need to provide a urine sample as instructed and then mail it in to your assigned testing facility, which will run the appropriate screenings. Your results will then be provided to you in the comfort and privacy of your very own home, either by phone or secure online website. This “collect your own sample” method is possibly the ultimate in confidentiality and convenience, as it doesn’t require you to leave the house, and never identifies you by name (your mail-in sample is tagged with an ID number, not your name). Additionally, the company works with some of the most reputable and reliable laboratories throughout the country in order to provide test results in a timely and accurate fashion.
The “Order At Home” Test
An “order at home” STD test might require a bit more legwork than its “collect your own sample” counterpart, but it serves an important purpose nonetheless. Any test that involves the evaluation of a blood or urine sample cannot be administered through GetSTDTested and subsequently conducted within the confines of your own home. Therefore, the “order at home” test allows you to retain your anonymity while getting the results that you need. The process starts by having you order your STD test or tests online. The company will direct you to the testing facility closest to your area, and you’ll then need to show up to have your sample collected by a laboratory professional. Once your results are available, they will be provided to you at your home; you will not need to return to the lab to learn of its findings. Since the online test-ordering process works by assigning you a patient number that appears on the laboratory requisition form in place of your actual name, the process remains confidential.
Now that you’re more familiar with your at-home STD testing options, you can stop avoiding the inevitable and instead get rolling on the process. Remember, when it comes to STDs, what you don’t know can truly hurt you, so don’t delay. Get tested today.
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