Men: You’re at risk of getting an STD. Studies show that 110 million Americans have a sexually transmitted disease at any given time. And, 50.5 million men are currently STD positive. Young people are at the highest risk.
Failure to use proper protection during intercourse and promiscuous behavior leads the 15 to 24 age group to have the highest rate of new infections.
Gonorrhea is the most common new STD.
If you’re sexually active, you have a duty to get tested regularly. You may have an STD and pass it on to a partner, or you may need immediate treatment to stop the progression of your STD. You can even get tested at home and never have to confront a doctor.
It’s a growing trend.
An at-home STD test offers privacy, above all else, and FDA approved test kits can now be ordered directly online.
Why More People Are Choosing Home STD Test Kits
Privacy is a big deal for people. Everyone is afraid that their information is going to be stolen, and for good reason: data breaches are a major concern. But what happens if your medical records are part of a data breach?
Do you want to announce to the world that you have an STD?
It’s not exactly something you want to announce on a rooftop.
When you get an STD test, if it’s part of your insurance, this information will be kept in your medical records.
At-home test results aren’t made public. What’s the catch?
You’ll have to pay for the testing out-of-pocket. The good news is that tests are very affordable, so there is no need to worry about costs (scroll down to see how much the average test kit costs).
And there are a lot of benefits to an ordering your STD test online:
- Privacy. We discussed this earlier, but it’s a major selling point for anyone that wants to get tested for an STD. Your information is kept private, so if you are positive, you can get treatment without anyone knowing. It’s a perk that a lot of people are choosing because they don’t want anyone knowing that they have an STD.
- Convenient. It’s a lot easier to take a test in the comfort of your own home. You’ll also be able to take the test on your terms. There are no awkward moments or intrusive questions asked when taking an at-home test.
- Backup. You have the option to take a test any time you want. You can stock up on tests and take them in intervals when you have a new partner or are sexually active. It’s a safeguard that a lot of people are choosing because it’s a lot easier to take a test when it’s in your home.
- Accurate. Test samples are sent out to labs, in most cases, so your results are highly accurate. You don’t need to worry about false positives or inaccuracies that have major drawbacks with something as serious as an STD. Certified results with privacy is rare, but that’s what these tests have to offer.
If you’re a fan of online shopping, this is another benefit. There are a lot of options that don’t even require you to leave your home to get your test. You can order the test from your smartphone or laptop without needing to step foot outside.
And this isn’t just an at-home STD test that is for the basics. You will find tests for everything, from gonorrhea to chlamydia.
STDCheck.com offers a 10-panel test, so there are options to get tested for a wide range of STDs and STIs. When you have the ability to get tested from home, something else also happens: rapid response.
Some STDs don’t matter much because they can be cured. Yes, it’s a major hassle and embarrassing, but if you get a serious disease like HIV, you need to act quickly. Quick actions can change the course of an STD, allowing you to live longer and possibly stave off a disease’s progression.
Quick, responsive treatment is key to making sure that you beat an STD.
You’ll also be able to have regular testing done. If you’re like me, you might get tested every once in a while, and this isn’t good. I hate going to the doctor, but at-home tests have changed the way that I approach STDs. I can now get tested regularly because I don’t have to call out of work or take a half day to get tested.
Regular testing is essential to stopping the spread of STDs.
The Need to Get Tested for STDs Regularly
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has screening recommendations. If anyone knows how often you should get tested, it’s the CDC. What do they recommend?
- Everyone, aged 13 – 64, should get an HIV test at least once.
- Sexually active bi-sexual or gay men should be tested for HIV every 3 to 6 months.
- Men that have sex with men should get tested every 3 to 6 months.
What’s very interesting is that the CDC has a lot of testing information for women, yet they don’t mention anything about straight men. This seems very odd to me because straight men can just as easily contract an STD as anyone else.
The recommendations for women, that I am applying to men, too, include:
- Annual gonorrhea tests for anyone 25 and younger.
- Annual chlamydia tests for anyone 25 and younger.
If you’re sexually active with multiple partners, it may be beneficial to get tested every 3 to 6 months just to ensure that you don’t have an STD. Lacking in information, the CDC fails to mention many of the serious STDs on their list.
A general rule of thumb is to get tested every 6 to 12 months.
People that are in a committed relationship and only have one partner may be able to get tested in longer intervals. The biggest concern is that a partner can cheat and pass an STD or STI to you.
In this case, not getting tested can have a negative impact on treatment options.
Any time that you have unprotected sex with a new partner, you should also get tested. There is a risk of getting an STD even if you do wear protection. It’s best to be tested, at the very least, annually to ensure that you can confidently have sex without spreading a disease to someone else.
How Much Does an STD Test Kit Cost?
If it’s time to get tested, an at-home STD test kit is a great option. The cost of every kit is different, so I will focus on the best value for your money. STDCheck.com offers a 10-panel test that will cover testing for:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Herpes 1
- Herpes 2
These are the main STDs that you have to worry about. The good news is that the test costs just $198.00, or less than $20 per test. You also have the option to choose an early detection test for HIV.
You really only need the early detection test if you suspect that you have HIV.
Early detection tests cost $349.00, so it’s significantly more money than the standard test. But early detection when you have HIV can mean the difference between life and death.
If you wanted to compare this test to the nearest competitor, MyLab Box would be a good option.
The company offers superb testing, but they charge $269 for an 8-panel test. You’ll get the absolute best value when you choose STDCheck.com for a full panel screening of the most common STDs and STIs.
What Is The Best Home STD Testing Kit?
An at-home STD test offers you the most flexibility when getting tested. You’ll find a few options available, but the main kit available is from STDcheck.com. The company has a great reputation, and as we discussed above, you’ll find that they also have great pricing.
The tests work very well.
How Does It Work?
I’m boasting about STDcheck because they offer a simple product that works. You’ll get your results within 1 – 2 days, so it’s a very quick testing process, too. I prefer this method for a few reasons:
- Testing is 100% confidential
- Testing takes just 5 minutes
- Tests are all FDA-approved
- Testing results are available in 1 – 2 days
And with STDcheck.com, it works a little different than most other tests. I prefer this company because you go online and can find a the nearest lab location easily. In fact, they have over 4,500 lab locations in the US. You can also order by phone if you prefer to make sure you are choosing the right test kit. You have the option to choose an individual test, or you have the option to order a 10-panel test.
But here comes the thing that I never expected when ordering the test: you need to visit a testing center.
Testing centers do not require any of your information. I will explain more about this in a minute. What you need to know right now is that there are 4,500 testing centers nationwide. You walk in, spend five minutes taking a test and walk out.
You don’t need to fill out any paperwork or go through details with doctors.
Go home, wait and then your test results will end up in your email in 1 – 2 days.
It’s that simple. If you want to be extra cautious about your privacy, I recommend signing up for a new email address that you’ll only use for your testing.
I also use this email address when signing up for free products and newsletters to keep my inbox free of spam.
It works great for me.
Private testing is simple. Since you’re paying for your test directly, none of the results are reported to your insurance company. The results will never be on your medical records. You’ll never have to worry about someone finding out your information.
And if you do find out that you’re positive for one of the STDs you’ve been tested for during the panel, there is doctor consultation. The doctor will discuss your options with you. Treatment may be prescribed, too. If regular treatment isn’t enough, then the doctor will have the authority to refer you to a specialist.
When you walk through the clinic’s doors, you will not have to answer questions or fill out paperwork. You’ll only need to provide blood or urine samples.
There are ample tests available to pick from, too, including:
- 10 Test Panel (described earlier)
- Individual Tests
- Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test
If you look at the price of all the individual tests, between $24 and $89, you’ll quickly figure out that the best deal is the 10-panel test. For the price, you’ll get all 10 tests performed for under $20 each, which is a real bargain.
Over the Counter STD Test Kits
You also have over-the-counter STD test kits you can buy. I don’t like these kits because I have to go to a local store, and a lot of people tend to “stare.” You also have a very limited number of test options available to you and again this is a “public facing” purchase and for me the risk of seeing someone you know at the check out counter is simply not worth it.
Walgreens and Amazon are options, but what I have found is that they have just basic tests available.
- Amazon. The world’s biggest online retailer. Amazon doesn’t have many STD testing options. But what they do offer is Oraquick HIV test (just for HIV). STD testing kit (very expensive) and MyLAB Box (a great option).
- Walgreens. Some centers have STD and STI testing options, and some stores will also have OTC kits. I have noticed a lot of stores no longer carry STD kits or tests.
You’ll also find these tests at other outlets, but MyLAB Box is the best over-the-counter option. This is a true at-home kit, in that you never need to visit a lab and your draw your samples from your house. But it doesn’t provide the same level of efficiency or speed as STDcheck.
This option provides results in 1 – 5 days, so while still very fast, it’s not just 1 – 2 days.
When you choose this option, you’ll also find that the company has:
- 4-panel test
- 8-panel test
- 14-panel test
You’ll also find a slew of other tests, including couples’ tests and individual tests that you can purchase. In terms of the number of tests that these panels offer, it’s definitely the leader in over-the-counter testing.
STD Check vs My Lab Box
Whether you’re taking an at-home chlamydia test or going into a lab, it’s essential to get tested regularly. Regular testing is the only way that we, as humans, will be able to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Frequent testing is all about responsibility.
You’re taking the first step in ensuring that you and your partner are free from any risk of STDs. When comparing the two, you’ll see a few main differences. Since I already went over STDcheck’s policy and the way the testing works, I am going to skip mentioning that here.
But myLAB is a bit different. You’ll take the test in your home and then mail the samples back to the company.
Your samples will then be tested and you’ll be able to take advantage of a same-day physician phone consultation. What’s nice about this test is that it’s as accurate as going into a clinic, but you never actually have to go into a clinic, which is a major bonus.
With that said, there’s a risk of some contamination when the test is being sent in the mail.
In terms of errors, there is always the chance that some chance error can cause a mix-up in the mail. But this is a very small concern and something that most people will have to worry about with an at-home STD test anyway.
In terms of cost, the STDcheck’s 10-panel test has the best price value.
But you have options with MyLAB, including:
- 4 Panel test for $189
- 8 Panel test for $269
- 14 Panel test for $369 – $399
The 14-panel test does provide a big bang for your buck, but it is expensive. You’ll be able to get tested by STDcheck for the same price as the 4-panel test. It’s very hard to beat that price, and since it’s easy to get tested, it makes sense to go with STDcheck.
Again, both of these tests are excellent.
If you have intercourse with multiple partners or want to make sure you don’t have an STD, it’s time to get tested.