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Are At Home STD Tests for Real?
It’s not always comfortable to talk about sex. Unfortunately, it’s even more uncomfortable to talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However embarrassing, STDs are more common than you think, and if you are tested sooner rather than later, you will receive the treatment that you need and minimize your chances of developing complications.
Maybe you’ve heard a friend say that it’s possible to get tested for STDs from the comfort of your own home. But is it true? The answer is yes and no. It is possible to get tested for some, like HIV / AIDs, using an over the counter, home testing kit. In other instances, you will need to be tested by a doctor or in a lab. Don’t let this discourage you – your test will be private, even if it’s not at home.
Are These Things FDA Approved?
All we can say here is be careful! Yes, there are std home tests that are approved by the FDA, or Food and Drug Administration. However, there have also been cases of kits that were not approved by the FDA, including a few high profile ones. So, if you are unsure, ask!
How Does This Work?
You’ll get a testing kit with some instructions. The first step is to provide a sample of your urine or a swab of your genitals, which you will then mail off to a lab. The STD testing at home part will be over. In the case of OraQuick, an at home option that screens for HIV, you do not need to mail anything to a lab. You will only need to take a swab of your cheek, and you’ll have an answer within 40 minutes.
What About Reliability?
As a general rule of thumb, std testing at home will lead to more false positives. In other words, your testing kit may tell you that you are positive when you are in truth no infected. So, once you take the test, you will still need to consult with a doctor.