STDs have been a problem for the global population for many decades now. More than 300 million cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis pop up every single year, according to some estimates.
At home, STD testing kits have made it immensely easy for individuals to take control of their health and diagnose their STDs at home if they experience any symptoms. These home testing kits save people a lot of trouble by taking many inconvenient things about an STD diagnosis out of the equation. People with symptoms of an STD often feel reluctant to visit a healthcare professional for fear of being judged. Others experience symptoms once and never again, so they never bother to visit a doctor in the first place. At home, STD testing kits make it possible for everyone to check their STD status without any inconvenience.
As advantageous as at-home STD kits sound, they still have a few drawbacks. However, these drawbacks are not huge enough to undermine all the benefits that at-home STD kits carry.
THE ADVANTAGES OF AN AT-HOME STD TESTING KIT
At home, STD testing kits have made it extremely convenient for people to test their STD status at home for more than one reason. Here are some of the reasons why at-home STD testing kits are so popular nowadays.
STDs have one of the biggest social stigmas attached to them. People who acquire an STD often do not visit a healthcare professional for their symptoms at all because they fear judgment and seclusion. Many people with STDs do not find it easy to talk to their family and friends about their symptoms. Some use whatever home remedies they can to manage their symptoms on their own without having to go to a doctor.
At home, STD testing kits provide a massive benefit of preserving an individual’s dignity and privacy when it comes to STD symptoms. People who don’t feel comfortable stepping out of their house to get their symptoms checked can simply take an at-home STD test and find out their STD status. Everything from taking the sample, preserving it, sending it for testing, and getting the result can be done from the comfort of their privacy.
Speed Up The Process Of STD Testing
STD testing process can be long and nerve-wracking. People often have to wait for a long time to hear back from their doctors, who, in turn, are dealing with more than just one patient. Lab results can get delayed as well, and the anxiety of waiting for your results can bring down the highest of spirits.
Most at-home STD testing kits provide a massive benefit of speeding up the STD testing process. It usually takes about 24-48 hours for the whole process to complete, starting from taking the sample all the way down to getting the results back. Moreover, the process is completely confidential, and the individual has complete control over it.
Giving More Control To The Patient
Speaking of having control over the whole process, at-home STD testing kits eliminate the feeling of being dependent on a medical facility or a healthcare professional to evaluate your STD status. This feeling of having greater control over their STD testing process can provide individuals with immaculate comfort and confidence.
Accuracy Above All
Initially, at-home STD testing kits were not the best way to diagnose a person’s STD status because they were not very accurate. However, medical science has come a long way. Modern at-home STD testing kits provide extremely accurate results, which rarely need a second opinion.
The accuracy of at-home STD testing kits may not completely eliminate the need for going to a physician if you do receive a positive diagnosis. However, greater accuracy means fewer false positive results and fewer panic attacks for people unsure about their STD status.
Focus On What Lies Ahead
STD testing kits are not just diagnostic tools at home to help you figure out your STD status. More often than not, these testing kits are a part of a bigger healthcare program. Companies that sell at-home STD testing kits often have software for their users to keep track of their well-being.
When individuals who use at-home testing kits get a positive result, these apps and other software programs can help link them with a licensed professional. Thus, at-home STD testing kits provide so much more than just the convenience of STD testing from the comfort of your home.
WHICH STIs CAN YOU TEST FOR AT HOME?
At home, STD testing kits are now available for various sexually transmitted diseases. These include:
- Hepatitis B
- Herpes simplex
Some STDs do not present with any symptoms initially. Others present with nonspecific symptoms that can resemble anything from a mild infection to a more serious disease. Therefore, it is a good idea to know how to identify the danger signs and when to take an at-home STD test.
The most common STD symptoms include a rash or blisters commonly found in the genital area. However, these blisters can also be found in the anal region or the oral cavity. Dull pelvic pain and a burning sensation while peeing are dangerous signs of STDs. Similarly, any discharge from your genitals should alarm you to the possibility of a lingering sexually transmitted disease.
If you have a persistent cold and you feel tired most of the time, there might be something wrong with your immunity – which can be a sign of an STD. However, not all fatigue and body aches point towards a diagnosis of STD. It is, therefore, important to monitor the duration of your symptoms and correlate them with a high-risk behavior that you may have indulged in in the past few days or weeks.
HOW ACCURATE ARE AT-HOME STD TESTING KITS?
The accuracy of a diagnostic test depends on two separate variables:
- The sensitivity of a diagnostic test to correctly identify a positive case.
- The ability of a diagnostic test to correctly weed out those who do not have the disease is specific.
Most at-home STD testing kits have very high specificity and sensitivity. However, not all rapid tests are equal in regard to these two parameters. For example, a common at-home STD testing kit for chlamydia has 86% sensitivity and a whopping 97% specificity. The stats for hepatitis B rapid tests are even better, with 97% sensitivity and 99% specificity. Similarly, the testing kit for HIV returns a positive result with 99% specificity as well.