If you are leading an active sexual life, then getting regularly checked for sexually transmitted disease (STDs) and infections (STIs) is very important.
This is especially important because most sexually transmitted infections do not have early symptoms or have very mild ones that are easily missed.
Despite this, many people shy away from visiting hospitals or clinics for STD testing.
The main reason is embarrassment. The lack of anonymity proves to be a major hindrance towards complete sexual health.
In other cases, the rising medical cost for STD tests is a hurdle.
Fortunately, there is a new way to get STD tested at a lower price and with guaranteed full anonymity. This is through online STD test services.
These new services are beginning to play an important role in helping people improve their sexual health.
Below we look at the journey from at-hospital testing… to home STD/STI test kits… and finally to the newest forms of online STD testing.
Traditional STI Testing
For many decades, the only way to get tested for sexually transmitted disease was to go to a hospital or a lab under a doctor’s order.
There are several drawbacks to traditional lab testing:
- It’s expensive, given the number of people and organizations involved.
- The whole process of testing is embarrassing to most people. While some hospitals may require just a urine or blood sample, others take a swab of the genital area. If the results are positive, it means even more embarrassment.
- The thought of having to physically go to a stranger to get tested is not one many people are comfortable with. The absence of complete anonymity is a big problem.
These drawbacks reduc e the number of that people getting screened until STIs get serious and difficult to treat.
Most worrying is the fact that an untreated STI can turn into cancer, cause infertility or harming an unborn child for pregnant women.
Delaying testing is also risky for the individual’s present or future partner. Any new sexual partners will most certainly get exposed to the undiagnosed infection.
Home STD Test Kits
The next alternative to hospital testing became available when the internet came along. People bought home STD test kits from online stores such as Amazon.
Using home test kits, you can anonymously test yourself at home and determine your risk.
Though home kits bought anonymously over the internet provided the privacy and affordability that people wanted, test accuracy remains a problem.
Also, do-it-yourself home tests are much more likely to lead to false positives. In some cases, the test may miss the infection and the individual fails to seek more accurate medical tests.
Online Labs: The Next Generation of STD/STI Testing
Luckily, the revolution of STI/STD screening did not stop at home test kits.
Today, there is a new way that guarantees a 100% confidentiality and anonymity and is very affordable. This is online testing.
The Online STD test is a hybrid technique that combines the accuracy of a doctor-supervised lab with the anonymity and comfort of at-home testing kits.
What you get is a way to keep your sexual health in check without suffering an undue embarrassments or letting an STI go untreated.
The cost of an online STD test is somewhere between that of traditional hospital tests and home test kits. You enjoy the accuracy of a professional STI test without the high costs usually associated with it.
A good example of an online STI testing service is STDCheck.com, the leading provider of anonymous STD testing services in the US.
To use their services one must first determine what tests you need performed. The website recommends their comprehensive 10-test panel. You can also get a 10-test panel plus an early HIV detection test.
For more specific single-disease tests, there is a list to choose from.
Your order is placed online or by phone. Once confirmed and payment completed, you’ll be instructed to visit one of the 4,000 testing centers they have around the country.
Taking a sample of your blood or urine takes only 5 minutes and no appointment or payment is necessary. It is also completely anonymous, because you use a code rather than your name to identify yourselt.
Results are emailed 1 to 2 days later via email.
The entire process is totally confidential. The website is completely secure. No name is used throughout the testing process. Instead, a unique identification code is used for identification at the test center and for tracking individual tests.
Other services worth taking a look at include STDTestExpress.com and PlannedParenthood.org, who recently released an iOS app that lets you order individual disease tests on your phone.
An Easier, Cheaper and Anonymous Way to Stay Healthy
The advent of Online STD Tests has been a real source of relief for many people.
Having access to affordable, accurate and 100% confidential sexual health testing, it has become possible for individuals and communities to take better charge of their sexual health with less risk than ever before.