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If you’re anything like the people I know, the reaction to the terms STD and STI is literally written all over their faces. For many, they conjure fear or, at the very least, discomfort. Culturally, we tend not to address STDs or STIs due to shame or avoid an awkward conversation.
Like it or not, there’s a certain stigma associated with these conditions, that prevent people from getting tested and treated. I mean, when was the last time you went to a clinic or doctor’s office to get tested? Was it fun and comfortable? Of course not. But all hope is not lost! In this article, we will introduce and recommend some at-home STD test kits so you can maintain your health with your privacy and dignity.
What is an STD and an STI?
STD stands for sexually transmitted disease, and STI for sexually transmitted infection. As the name suggests, STDs and STIs are transmitted through sexual contact. You may have noticed that we are referring to diseases and infections separately. This is because there are actually some differences between the two. For one, infections occur when harmful bacteria or viruses (pathogens) are transferred from one partner to the other during vaginal, anal, and oral contact. STIs may then progress to an STD. In other words, an STD is a severe or later-stage STI.
Despite the name, non-sexual activities can also transmit STIs and STDs, namely, the exchange of body fluids, but occasionally skin-to-skin contact. For example, needle sharing is an extremely high-risk activity for transmitting STIs or STDs.
What are the Common STDs?
There are more than twenty different types of STDs, some more common than others. Here is a list of some of the most commonly reported STDs:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) disease
All of these are either caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. While they transmit to both men and women, side effects may be more severe among women.
Common Symptoms of STDs?
Many STDs have similar symptoms, making a diagnosis without testing risky. Common STD symptoms include:
- Abnormal discharge from the genitals
- Itching and redness of the genital area
- Painful urination
- Sores and warts around the penis and genitals
- The unusual odor from the vaginal or penile discharge
- Bleeding from the anus
- Pain in the abdomen
Some STDs can be diagnosed upon physical examination of the genitals or microscopic examination of the genital discharge. Others, however, require testing a blood sample or fluid from your genitals.
At-home STD test kits require no extra materials and allow you to accurately diagnose yourself from the comfort of your own home. Here is a list of some top-rated kits for testing STDs at home
Quick Look at the Best At Home STD Test Kits
- Verisana – single test product can help you detect seven different diseases
- LetsGetChecked – test kits are delivered in plain envelopes with no visible reference to LetsGetChecked for privacy.
- MyLab Box – offers a variety of test kits for individuals and couples
- Everlywell – if positive, provides you with an independent board-certified physician in your state for follow up.
- 24/7 LabKit – test kit can be used for either men or women for gonorrhea and chlamydia
This comprehensive STD test for women is discreet, affordable, and trustworthy, helping women determine if they are infected with the most common viral and bacterial STDs. With user-friendly instructions, this single test can confirm the presence of HIV, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Herpes Simplex, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Trichomoniasis.
- The test requires two samples, including a vaginal swab and blood spot, to ensure accurate results. Using the provided bag and shipping label, send your samples to Verisana.
- Verisana will analyze your provided samples and email your results.
- Rest assured that your information will remain private and never be shared with a third party.
The product is available on Verisana’s website for $199.95. The men’s equivalent of this test is equally comprehensive and available at the same price point.
Verisana’s at-home STD test kit is for sexually active women looking to monitor their health. Forget running around to nearby drugstores searching for the best test. With Amazon, the test ships right to your door.
LetsGetChecked is a US and Ireland-based company striving to unite science and technology as it strives to make people’s lives longer and happier. They offer a wide range of at-home test kits, including a coronavirus test. That being said, their at-home STD testing kits are among the best.
- Testing remains a private experience with plain-envelope-delivery for your privacy.
- Results are delivered to your online account in two-five days.
- Kits approved and accredited by Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments (CLIA) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). They are also manufactured within ISO 13485.
- If you test positive, LetsGetChecked will provide a primary healthcare provider for guidance and common treatments.
Depending on the test specifications, prices vary, with chlamydia and gonorrhea kits starting at $99 and the comprehensive STD test kit at $249. All kit combinations are determined by physicians and hospitals.
LetsGetChecked’s products are convenient and affordable for those looking to maintain their health and privacy.
MyLab Box provides its customers with complete control over their sexual health. Their most popular kit is the LoveBox, an at-home STD test for couples. This kit is designed for multiple users to test themselves simultaneously, so you and your partner(s) can make important decisions together.
- The LoveBox is a comprehensive eight-panel test kit testing trichomoniasis, HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis C, HPV, etc.
- Kits will ship directly to you, and results will be available in two-five days.
- Testing is pain-free and can be done via finger prick, swab, or urine sample in as little as five minutes.
- If you test positive, MyLab provides a complimentary physician consultation.
- All tests are FDA approved, offering you the same quality as those conducted in hospitals or clinics.
The LoveBox by MyLab Box costs $499, but STD test kits for individuals, like the UberBox and SafeBox above, are also available.
MyLab Box is best suited for individuals and couples who want to monitor their sexual health at home.
EverlyWell’s tagline reads, “demand better for your body.” In that spirit, the company’s mission is to serve its customers by providing products that improve or maintain their health. EverlyWell makes a variety of at-home lab tests, including STD testing kits for both men and women.
- The At-home STD test kits can check for seven sexually transmitted diseases and infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, HCV, herpes, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
- EverlyWell is HIPAA-compliant, ensuring the safety of your data, and all tests are CLIA certified, meeting the highest state and federal quality standards.
- Samples are collected either via vaginal swab or finger prick.
- If you test positive, EverlyWell provides an independent, board-certified physician in your state to provide guidance and treatment.
Male and female STD testing kits are available for $149.
The STD test-male and STD test-female are both available for $149. Use this coupon for 15% off a semi-annual subscription.
EverlyWell is best suited for those who want to use their insurance or employer-provided health coverage to cover an at-home STD test. Furthermore, EverlyWell provides free shipping, making testing accessible for everyone.
24/7, as its name indicates, offers quality customer care twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. It is among the most prominent at-home testing companies, allowing men and women to check themselves for various STDs and STIs.
- Register quickly online and have a chlamydia and gonorrhea test sent straight to you.
- 24/7 is HIPAA-compliant, and CLIA certified for your protection.
- 24/7 takes the protection of your data seriously and always fights for your security.
STD test kits by 24/7 lab kits start at $47.75 from Amazon. Some Amazon Store cardholders may be eligible to receive the product for free.
24/7 is best for people looking to monitor their sexual health from the privacy of their own homes.
How Accurate are At-Home STD Tests?
All things considered, are STD at-home testing kits worth it? Absolutely. They are rigorously tested to deliver quality results and prioritize your safety. In fact, at-home STD tests are 92% as accurate as tests completed at a hospital or clinic.
At-home STD tests offer not only convenience and privacy, but they are also safe and effective. Monitoring your sexual health has never been easier. With the kit of your choice, all you need to do is collect a sample as instructed, ship it, and let the experts handle the rest.