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Getting tested for STDs is a must for anyone who’s sexually active. And the best way to get tested may be through an at-home STD test kit.
There are many different types of STDs, otherwise known as sexually transmitted diseases. Many people contract and transmit these disease without knowing. This is because many of them do not have symptoms.
Take herpes for instance, it has no symptom or sign, but yet, can be easily transferred to another person. There are, however, some STDs that show symptoms and signs within a few hours of contracting them from an infected person.
It doesn’t matter if it’s through vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex, STDs can be easily transmitted. Which is why it is essential to get tested regularly. Doing this will provide you with peace of mind. And if you happen to be infected, you can start treatment immediately.
Now, although getting tested is great, not so many people have the boldness or time to do it. While some may be extremely shy to go for STD tests, there are others who don’t have much time to engage in regular testing. Most people don’t like having that awkward STD conversation with their doctors. Others simply don’t want to wait in line at the lab.
If you happen to fall into any of these categories, we have good news for you. There are now at-home STD test kits like Self Collect that you can buy directly from the comfort of your own home with total privacy. Intriguing, right?
These kits can be used in the confines of your room. And many of them are very accurate with their results. However, if you use a test kit and it reads negative, but you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms of an STD, it’s best that you consult your doctor.
Top 3 Things to Look For When Choosing an At-Home STD Test Kit
So, how exactly can you find the best test kit for you? Well, we’ve outlined some of the things to look out for in a test kit. The recommendations below will help you decide on the best test kit for you.
#1. A Good At-Home STD Test Kit Must Be Able to Detect All Major STDs
This is the first thing you need to consider before choosing a test kit. You’ll either need to test for a specific STD or conduct a multi disease test.
For most people, a multi disease test is all they’ll need. Unless you’re having specific symptoms or you believe you’ve been exposed to a certain STD, a multi-disease test is surely your best option.
A good test kit should be able to perform tests for various STDs. Some of the major ones that should be covered include HIV, Hepatitis B, Chlamydia, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Gardnerella, Syphilis, Mycoplasma, Trichomoniasis, and Ureplasma.
If the test kit you want to purchase cannot detect two or more of these STDs, then it’s best you stay away from it.
An effective STD test kit must be able to perform tests for bacterial infections too. That is the only way it can detect bacterial infections such as Trichomoniasis, Ureplasma, and Gardnerella.
#2. Level of Accuracy Must Be High
At-home STD test kits make use of modern testing technologies. Many of them are highly accurate and extremely sensitive.
There are high end test kits that use capillary testing to carry out an STD test. Capillary testing is a highly accurate test method. In fact, it is considered to be as accurate as a venous blood draw.
Other types of test kits use blood spots for their testing. Compared to the capillary testing, blood spot tests have lower accuracy.
In most cases, the tests administered will be accurate. However, since not every test kitis built the same, some of them may turn out to be inaccurate.
This is why it is highly recommended that you consult a physician, especially if your test results are negative, but you still feel like you’re experiencing the symptoms and signs of an STD.
#3. Support From the Test Kit Company
Having a product is great, but being able to offer support to your customers is always better. Before deciding to purchase your at-home STD test kit, ensure that the brand you’re buying offers incredible support.
This is essential especially if you’d like to have a team of professionals to discuss your test results with. While some test kit brands contact you to discuss your results and advise you on the next steps to take, you may have to contact the support team of other brands by yourself.
How Reliable Are At-Home Test Kits?
You need to note that not all test kits are approved by the FDA. While some of them have the FDA’s approval, others do not. But they claim to use “technologies that were approved by the FDA.”
Many of these test kit companies are in partnership with different laboratories that are accredited by the CAP (College of American Pathologists), and certified by the CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act).
Note that different STDs have different incubation periods. Therefore, if your results come out negative, it may not necessarily mean you don’t have an STD. It may simply indicate that the STD has not been detected yet. This is simply the reason why regular testing is a must.
At-home STD test kit companies also ensure to remind patients that information and education are the reasons why tests are carried out. Patients should never try to treat or diagnose medical conditions.
These tests should not replace medical consultations. In order to get the best treatment and/or medical advice, it is best that you share your test results with a medical practitioner.