STD at home testing kits has become insanely popular as a screening and diagnostic tool for convenient STD detection. But why are these STD and, in particular, HIV-at-home testing kits so popular?
STD at-home testing kits are a convenient way to check your STD status without ever having to step out of your house. These home testing kits include everything needed to accurately diagnose STDs, including a sample collection tool, a method to analyze the sample, and a result indicator that lets you know your conclusive STD status. These at-home STD testing kits are extremely easy to use as well. Moreover, these at-home testing kits provide people who do not feel comfortable talking about their symptoms to anyone with a safe and private diagnostic alternative.
There is no doubt that STD at-home testing kits have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. However, how do these at-home testing kits work, and are they even useful in the first place?
WHY ARE STD AND HIV-AT-HOME TESTING KITS SO POPULAR?
STD, and in particular HIV, at-home test kits have seen a massive rise in popularity over the years. They are designed to be used by the general public to identify their STD status at home. The reason for their massive popularity, however, is not just the fact that they make it super convenient for people to check if they have any STDs or not. These at-home test kits are so popular because of several different benefits that they bring along with them.
STD at-home test kits provide an immaculate benefit of being one of the best screening tools for STDs. According to estimates, 1 in 7 people in the US with HIV is unaware of their positive HIV status. Given that about 1.2 million people in the US alone are living with HIV, there is a growing need for more sophisticated and effective approaches to STD screening.
Not everyone who acquires an STD develops its symptoms right away. Some people never experience a single symptom, and others simply don’t like to talk about the symptoms they have because of the social taboo associated with STDs. All these problems make it very difficult for the healthcare system to correctly identify individuals with STDs.
At home, STD test kits provide the benefit of being inconspicuous when it comes to STD testing. People can test themselves for their STD status from the comfort of their homes without ever having to step out of their houses. The privacy and anonymity associated with at-home STD test kits make the overall process of STD screening much easier and more efficient.
Another benefit of at-home STD test kits is that these kits can be used as early as the first appearance of any signs and symptoms of an STD. In many cases, at-home STD test kits can detect an STD-causing virus earlier than any other diagnostic method. The overall prognosis of an STD becomes much better with an early diagnosis and, subsequently, prompt treatment.
At home, STD test kits are also popular because they empower the patient to take control of their health. Individuals do not have to wait around for their doctor’s appointments anymore as they can simply take an STD test at home. Moreover, conducting the STD test at home from start to finish provides the user with the added benefit of feeling in control of the disease they might have, which goes a long way when it comes to chronic disease.
HOW DO STD AT HOME TESTING KITS WORK?
At home, STD test kits work by bringing all the components of STD testing together in a single package. Rapid HIV test kits, for example, include a swab stick for sample collection and a vial with a preservative solution to keep the sample intact. Once a sample is taken with the swab stick, usually from the inner cheek, it can be preserved in the vial and sent to the nearest lab via mail for HIV detection.
There is also an HIV at-home testing kit that allows users to test their HIV status by testing their blood. This method involves making a small prick to the finger and collecting a drop of blood on a preservative card. This card is then mailed to the nearest lab, and the results come back in about 24 to 48 hours.
DO I STILL NEED TO VISIT A DOCTOR IF I GET A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT?
While at-home STD test kits are incredibly convenient, they are not a replacement for healthcare professionals. At home, STD test kits are efficient screening tools for STDs. However, they are not enough to conclude a final diagnosis of an STD.
A negative STD test result on an at-home STD test kit does not rule out the possibility of an STD. If you get a test result negative at home, you still need to visit a healthcare professional to confirm that you are, in fact, STD-free. This is because, on average, an at-home STD test kit will return a false negative test result every 1 out of 12 times. A false negative test result means getting a negative test result on an at-home STD test kit when you actually have the disease.
Similarly, a positive test on an at-home STD test kit does not conclude that you have the disease. You still have to visit a doctor for clinical examinations and more testing to know for sure that you have a sexually transmitted disease.
WHAT TYPES OF HIV HOME TESTING KITS ARE AVAILABLE?
The only FDA-approved HIV-at-home test is the oral fluid test. This test kit includes a swab stick that is used to get a fluid sample from the inside of your cheek. The stick is then placed into a vial with the developer’s solution. The solution’s color then changes to indicate a person’s HIV status. Typically, this test returns a result in about 20 minutes.