Nov 01, 2010
yep they are out there - online sites that you can just pick your own testing , pay for it with a credit card and go to the lab and get it done. Should you use them? Well that depends on what you need done. Hopefully I can help with when to use them and when not to use them. Also shop around - they do vary in price a lot! If you have questions about the testing a website offers, just ask on the forums and we'll help you :)
times it would be appropriate to use them :
- new relationship and you both want to go and get testing done. Easier to order up your std screening through them and you get results back in 48 hours on most sites. You can go together and your results are typically posted online so very easy to show each other results. ( be aware they don't include hpv testing )
- 3 months after your last sexual contact to make sure you don't have anything from that partner - IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS.
- periodic std testing to keep an eye on your status if you don't have a regular partner.
- if your provider doesn't order proper herpes testing for you or says they don't offer it . you can get accurate type specific herpes igg blood testing done through an online source.
reasons not to use them:
- some are VERY over priced
- unless you know about std's and testing, no way to know if they are offering the best testing options for you or not. you also don't get told how long to wait after an encounter to test.
- you don't get a proper exam to pick up on things like warts or molluscum
- you don't get counseling as to what testing you need done so you are probably paying for testing you don't need ( though in all honesty - usually getting their full package is just as cheap if not cheaper than just ordering 3 or 4 of the tests ).
- you don't get counseling with test results unless you pay extra and none of it is face to face with someone who has time to talk to you
- you might self diagnose as having "x" e.g. herpes, gonorrhea etc but when you test negative, you don't follow up with a proper evaluation to find out what is really going on.
So use these with caution but certainly use them! Make sure you are waiting enough time after an encounter to get the testing done ( the next day is never appropriate! ) so you aren't wasting your money. If you have active symptoms then these aren't the right option for you - you need to go and be seen and talk to a provider and get a proper exam done.