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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that spread through sexual contact. Many companies sell home testing kits for STIs.
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A quick look at the 10 best at-home STI tests:
- Best STI test for fast results: HealthLabs
- Best STI tests for pregnant people: QuestDirect
- Best subscription service for STI tests: Everlywell
- Best range of STI tests: PersonaLabs
- Best HIV STI test: OraQuick
- Best STI test for medical advice: LetsGetChecked
- Best lab testing: STDLabs
- Best for comprehensive STI testing: myLAB Box
- Best for insurance coverage: Nurx
- Best for hepatitis A and early HIV tests: STDCheck
An STI is an infection that people transmit from one to another during sexual or skin-to-skin contact. STIs can affect people of all ages but are most common in those
STIs can cause complications if a person does not receive treatment, such as infertility. Additionally, those who are pregnant can pass on STIs during childbirth to the infant.
MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria:
- Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in
- Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that are suitable for a wide range of budgets.
- Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
- Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
- Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.
The CDC states that chlamydia is the
According to advocacy group Planned Parenthood, chlamydia can cause:
The sexual partners of a person who receives testing should also undergo testing and treatment if required, so the infection does not pass back and forth or on to others.
Two home tests for chlamydia include:
Best STI test for fast results: HealthLabs
HealthLabs offers lab-based testing, so once people receive the lab requisition form, they can take it to one of its 4,500 testing centers. The company states its laboratories are
People may choose to provide a blood or urine sample — the latter can check for bacterial infections in the urogenital area.
The blood test checks whether a person has contracted a nongenital chlamydia infection. It detects Chlamydia trachomatis antibodies and may also reveal past chlamydia infections.
Individuals generally receive their results within 1–2 business days.
HealthLabs sells a range of tests for STIs and other health concerns.
- Pros: many testing centers, results available quickly, no appointment needed
- Cons: no consultation with a healthcare professional
Best STI test for pregnant people: QuestDirect
Price: $139 + $6 physician fee.
QuestDirect’s self-collection home testing kits look for both chlamydia and gonorrhea. This company also produces STI tests for use during pregnancy.
There is an additional charge that may cover laboratory tests and follow-up consultations.
Once they receive their home kit, people may collect their sample and return it in a prepaid envelope. Results are typically available within 7 business days through the company’s patient portal.
The service also claims that its laboratories have certification with CLIA and the College of American Pathologists.
QuestDirect sells a range of tests for STIs and other health concerns.
- Pros: convenience, suitable for use during pregnancy
- Cons: additional charge for laboratory tests and follow-up consultation, longer turnaround time than other options
Two home tests for syphilis include:
Best subscription service for STI tests: Everlywell
Price: $49 or $24.99 with membership.
Everlywell offers a finger prick sample collection, providing individuals with all the tools they need to take the test at home.
After mailing the sample to one of its CLIA-certified testing facilities, people receive their results on the company’s website.
If a person requires regular testing, they could subscribe to the membership plan to save up to 49% off the cost of separate tests.
Everlywell’s tests reportedly feature 99% accuracy, and if an individual receives a positive result, a physician may contact them to discuss the next steps.
Everlywell sells a range of at-home testing kits for STIs and other health concerns.
- Pros: CLIA-certified testing facilities, physician consultation, subscription discount
- Cons: requires a finger-prick blood sample
Best range of STI tests: PersonaLabs
Price: $46-51, depending on the lab used.
Personalabs offers lab-based home STI testing, with the help of around 2,300 lab testing centers across the U.S.
After purchasing a home test kit, people receive a requisition order that they may have to present at the testing center. Once they provide a blood sample, they generally receive their results within 2–10 business days.
Personalabs recommends taking a test if a person does not use any barrier methods each time they engage in sexual activity.
Those with possible syphilis symptoms or who have had sexual contact with an individual who has received a diagnosis should also undergo testing.
Personalabs states that it works with Quest Diagnostics and that its testing centers comply with federal certifications.
Persona Labs sells a range of tests for STIs and other health concerns.
- Pros: works with federally certified labs
- Cons: can take up to 10 business days for test results
According to the
One option for at-home HIV testing includes the below.
Best HIV STI test: OraQuick
OraQuick offers an at-home HIV test kit that only detects antibodies after 3 months of exposure to the virus.
This is the only at-home oral HIV test with approval from the
The test kit includes a test stick that people use to swab their upper and lower gums. They then insert this into the test tube and read the result within 20–40 minutes.
People can order multiple packs at once for a discount.
OraQuick does not sell tests for other STIs.
- Pros: convenience, privacy, fast results, free standard shipping
- Cons: cannot detect HIV until 3 months after exposure
Many of the brands in this article, such as Everlywell, HealthLabs, and Personalabs, offer a range of different STI tests, including options for specific conditions such as herpes, trichomoniasis, or hepatitis.
Some companies also sell specialist STI tests. For example, QuestDirect offers STI tests for use during pregnancy.
Many of these brands also have comprehensive STI tests that test for multiple STIs simultaneously. This is usually a more expensive option but is more convenient and useful in some cases.
Best STI test for medical advice: LetsGetChecked
Price: standard 5 test for $149. Discount available with a subscription.
LetsGetChecked offers a range of multiple STI tests in collaboration with CLIA-certified laboratories.
The service provides a self-collection testing method, meaning individuals collect their sample at home and return it on the same day.
Those who require regular STI testing may purchase the subscription plan to save up to 30% off the price of separate tests.
People generally receive their results within 2–5 days. They may also contact the company’s nurses at any time if they wish to discuss their results and treatment.
LetsGetChecked sells a range of at-home testing kits for STIs and other health concerns.
- Pros: CLIA-certified laboratories, subscription discount, quick turnaround, access to consultation with healthcare providers, discreet packaging, medication sent at no extra cost
- Cons: more expensive than other options
Best lab testing: STDLabs
Price: complete STD panel for $199.
STDLabs allows a person to purchase tests online. They can then visit their local STDLabs test center, with over 4,500 locations available.
This complete STD test requires a person’s blood sample. If the result comes back positive for any STIs, the company provides a follow-up test at no additional cost.
A person may receive their results in as little as 3 days, while all the company’s laboratories have FDA approval and CLIA certification.
STDLabs offers a range of STI tests.
- Pros: follow up tests for positive results, FDA and CLIA-certified labs, quick turnaround
- Cons: more expensive than other options
Best for comprehensive STI testing: myLAB Box
Price: $379, or $399 with the HPV test included — subscription options available with a discount.
The most comprehensive STI testing kit from myLAB BOX is called the Total Box. It involves testing blood, saliva, and urine samples for 14 STIs.
The labs involved have Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) and CLIA qualifications.
Using FDA-approved technology, the test screens for:
- chlamydia (genital, throat, and rectal)
- gonorrhea (genital, throat, and rectal)
- hepatitis C
- HIV types one and two
People over 30 also have the option of testing for human papillomavirus (HPV).
This test kit costs $379, or $399 with the HPV test included.
The company says that providing the samples takes 5 minutes and that results are available on a secure online platform within 5 days. It also offers free consultations with certified physicians to anyone with a positive result.
myLAB BOX sells a range of at-home testing kits for STIs and other health concerns.
- Pros: quick turnaround, free consultations with certified physicians
- Cons: more expensive than other options
Best for insurance coverage: Nurx
Price: $150–220 without insurance, $75 with insurance.
Nurx offers a range of screenings, including these three at-home tests for STIs:
- Basics Covered Kit: This tests urine and finger prick blood samples for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
- Full Control Kit: This tests a urine sample, a throat swab, a rectal swab, and a finger prick blood sample for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and hepatitis C.
- Healthy V Kit: This tests a vaginal swab, a throat swab, and a finger prick blood sample for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
The company says its labs have accreditations and approvals from CAP and CLIA, and that it protects personal and health information according to the statutes of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
One advantage of choosing Nurx is that the company allows payments from insurance plans. In this case, a person still needs to pay $75 plus any deductibles or applicable co-payments. The price without insurance ranges from $150–220, depending on the kit.
The first step is filling out a health history questionnaire on the Nurx app or website. Next, the person selects their kit, with or without advice from Nurx’s medical team.
Once the kit arrives, the person takes their samples, packages them in the prepaid envelope, and drops them in the mail. The company says it provides results within 7 days.
Nurx sells a range of at-home testing kits for STIs and other health concerns.
- Pros: insurance coverage, quick turnaround time
- Cons: more expensive than other options without insurance, longer turnaround time than other options
Best for hepatitis A and early HIV tests: STDCheck
Price: $139 for a 10-panel test, $258 for a 9- or 10-panel test, plus an HIV RNA early detection test.
STDCheck offers a range of FDA-approved STI tests and says it is the first to provide an early HIV detection test. Its labs have CLIA certification.
However, the company does not accept health insurance.
The most comprehensive option is the 10-Panel STD Test. This checks for 10 STIs, including:
- hepatitis A, B, and C
- herpes one and two
- HIV one and two
The test costs $139. If a person adds the HIV RNA early detection test, it costs about $258.
The latter detects HIV as soon as 11 days after exposure, the company says, explaining that standard HIV tests may only detect the virus after 2–3 months of exposure.
A person needs to provide samples at one of the company’s labs, which emails the results within 2 days. Physician consultations are also available.
STDLabs offers a range of STI tests.
- Pros: FDA-approved tests, CLIA-certified labs, quick turnaround
- Cons: does not accept health insurance
The table below compares the STI test kit brands listed above:
|Price range||Subscriptions?||Collection location||Result timeline|
|HealthLabs||$24–479||no||lab testing centers||1–2 business days|
|QuestDirect||$49–379||no||at home||7 business days|
|PersonaLabs||$46–799||no||lab testing centers||2–10 business days|
|OraQuick||$38.99||no||at home||20–40 minutes|
|LetsGetChecked||$99–249||yes||at home||2–5 business days|
|STDLabs||$15–299||no||lab testing centers||3 business days|
|myLAB Box||$59–499||yes||at home||5 business days|
|Nurx||$75–220||yes||at home||7 days|
|STDCheck||$24–259||no||lab testing centers||2 days|
Some advantages and disadvantages of at-home STI tests, compared with lab tests, include:
- greater privacy
- speed and convenience
- discreet packaging, potentially
- multiple STI screening
- potential delays in sending and receiving samples
- potential unavailability of consultations
- difficulty in interpreting results
- no immediate treatment
There are two types of at-home STI tests: self-collection and lab-based tests.
After receiving their test kit from an online provider, people can take the STI test with all the tools provided by the company. This may include needles, tubes, alcohol swabs, and a prepaid envelope, among others.
An individual might need to take a blood or urine sample, or a rectal, oral, or vaginal swab, depending on the STI test. They can then return their sample to a testing center.
With lab-based tests, individuals receive a lab sample order and present it to a testing facility, where a healthcare professional performs the test.
Individuals generally receive results from both tests via email or through the company’s patient portal within a few days.
People may also purchase individual tests to screen for one STI in particular or a kit that tests for multiple conditions.
However, not all online testing companies have received CLIA certification. Therefore, a person may wish to look for this certification when looking for tests to buy to verify their accuracy and quality.
The CDC mentions that STI tests may be beneficial for people who may have an
- sexually active people
- those that do not use barrier methods of birth control, such as condoms
- pregnant people
The CDC also states that taking an STI test during pregnancy may help prevent complications.
It is important to note that STIs do not always cause symptoms. However, people may wish to take a test if they experience:
- genital rash
- abdominal pain
- itchiness and redness around the genital area
- unusual discharge
- sores or warts in the genital area
Individuals may wish to undergo a test if they believe they have had exposure to an STI.
Healthcare insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, typically cover some or all of the cost of STI testing. However, there are several places where a person may receive free or low cost STI screening.
Planned Parenthood is no longer eligible for federal funding through the Title X program. The organization can only offer free or low cost STI testing if it receives funding from the location state. Due to this, a person must call or otherwise contact their local center to check whether it offers affordable testing.
Community clinics and city health centers
A person’s local community clinic or city health center may offer free or low cost STI testing. These clinics may provide a mix of walk-ins or appointments.
Additionally, the CDC offers a database where people can find centers that offer free or low cost STI testing and vaccinations. People can search via their ZIP code or state.
Student health centers
Student health centers may offer low cost STI screening for students enrolled in local colleges.
A person can find their student health center through their college website or by contacting their college unions.
LGBTQ+ community centers
People who consider themselves part of the LGBTQIA+ community may prefer to visit an LGBTQ+ community center.
These centers may be able to provide people with information on where to find low cost healthcare with an LGBTQIA+ friendly healthcare professional.
Some people may feel nervous talking about their STI results, and may not know which questions to ask. Below are some examples that may help people have a conversation with their healthcare professionals about their results.
- Will the STI have any short- or long-term effects on my body?
- Are there ways of managing any side effects of the STI?
- Is there any treatment for the STI?
- Do I need to take any medication, and if I do, how long must I take it?
- Does the medication cause any side effects?
- How long will I have to wait before I can have sex without transmitting the infection?
- How do I reduce my risk of contracting an infection in the future?
- Are there any local centers or organizations that provide free or low cost condoms?
Here are some of the most common questions about these tests.
Where can I get free STI testing?
Free or heavily discounted STI testing may be available. People in the U.S. can search in this CDC database to find free tests nearby.
Certain foundations and nonprofit organizations also provide free testing. For example, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation offers this in more than 28 locations nationwide.
What happens if the result comes back positive?
The next step is to receive medical advice. A doctor can suggest a treatment plan to alleviate any symptoms, for example, and prevent the infection from passing to others.
A healthcare professional can also provide guidance about any other sexual health concerns and describe ways of reducing the risk of contracting STIs.
How do at-home STD tests protect privacy?
This depends on the testing company’s security and privacy measures, including HIPAA compliance. Some use internet encryption and discreet packaging and destroy samples and data after the test is complete and the person has seen their results.
As an STI test can easily link back to a person through their DNA, it is crucial to use a reputable service that protects personal information and healthcare data at all costs.
An at-home STI test may be suitable for people who need convenient, discreet testing. Various companies offer test bundles, consultations, and retests, and the results are generally available within a few days.
Follow the company’s instructions carefully to increase the likelihood of an accurate result.