Many people are afraid that they have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and they are uncomfortable about going to the doctor.
If you are part of this group of people, you have probably experienced the same fear.
You’ve probably already searched the web for sites that offer at-home STD test kits (learn more at http://STDTestOptions.info). These are tests you can order online and use in the comfort of your home – far from the prying eyes of doctors, nurses or others.
However, most STD test kits are not as reliable and accurate as lab tests.
Additionally, only some of these are approved by the FDA.
In-Home STI / STD Testing Options
According to a number of studies performed on the subject of sexually transmitted infections or diseases, which are posted online, at-home STD tests are unlikely to be as accurate as those performed in a doctor office. On Wisegeek.com you can find many articles that explain why.
The accuracy of home STD tests can be affected by the packaging, storage, manipulation, and handling of the kits. Additionally, there might be some issues when you collect the sample.
Back in 2012, the FDA rejected a home-HIV test that was manufactured by OraSure Technologies. Their test, OraQuik, which costs $40, has an accuracy of more than 93% and has been tried by thousands of people from all over the world. This test can be read in less than 20 minutes and is backed up by the government, many articles and scientific papers released in the press.
In order to determine the reliability of this test, Charlotte Gaydos, a world-renowned health expert from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from Baltimore, decided to send six of her personal tests to 6 different online lab test companies, including OraSure. Two of them never responded back, and only the rest of four returned the test.
Half of the test samples processed came back with false negatives, despite the fact that Gaydos loaded each sample purposefully with chlamydia bacteria.
In an interview for NBC.com, Gaydos chose not to mention the names of these companies but stated that the FDA should inspect these online companies that claim to be specialized in diagnosing critical medical conditions, including STDs.
In a complex move to enforce new regulations, the FDA decided to send a warning letter and email to a company called Identigene, an online-based company that was allegedly offering home urine testing for both gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
The FDA prohibited Identigene to sell their test in stores and online, and fortunately, they complied. However, they have said that they are going with some clinical trials with their testing, and hope to be back online. Currently, they provide DNA testing for paternity cases.
At the moment, the safest and most reliable method to have STD testing is at an FDA-approved facility. Here is a resource that helps you find an FDA-approved facility close to your location.
Another useful FDA-approved site you can use is this is called “Doing It My Way” or #DoingItMyWay.
If you cannot find anything close to your location, and you live in Maryland, Washington D.C., or Alaska you can benefit from “Get The Kit“, a pilot program created by Charlotte Gaydos. Order the kit straight from the website provided you live in the correct area. The site also has a good Resources page with places to find information regarding kits is other states.
Source: STD Epidemiology