How Home STD Testing Kits Actually Help Your Overall Health
September is Sexual Health Month, but let’s be clear. Your home STD testing kits don’t only benefit your sexual health. They benefit your overall health. Testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections is often not spoken about, or is seen as taboo. The truth is, if you are sexually active, you need to be getting tested as part of your overall wellness check. As Sexual Health Month comes to a close, remember that testing for STDs isn’t only for September. It’s for the whole year!
It Isn’t as Scary as it Seems!
Some people don’t test for sexually transmitted diseases because they are nervous of the outcome. Listen, we totally get it. Testing for STDs isn’t a pleasant experience, but it is a necessary one. After all, brushing your teeth is a routine task that is required far more often than testing for STDs. However, you do it anyway because it’s the right thing to do for your health.
But don’t be spooked. The truth is, most sexually transmitted infections are curable. For example, a simple antibiotic prescription will do the trick for chlamydia and gonorrhea. So, even if you get that dreaded positive result, it isn’t the end of the world. Even sexually transmitted infections that do not have a cure, they are usually manageable with the proper treatment. In order to take care of the infection, you first need to get tested and diagnosed. The real danger is in not testing at all.
Consequences of Not Testing
If left untreated, a sexually transmitted infections can have adverse affects on your long-term health. These serious consequences can include infertility, permanent chronic illness and even death.
For instance, if left untreated and undiagnosed, HIV will eventually lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women and urethral infection in men. Hepatitis C can cause liver damage. Of course, the list goes on.
Let’s not forget, when and infected person doesn’t get tested and continue to be sexually active, that person is also be putting other people’s health at risk. An infected person can spread the infection to their partners and contribute to the serious issue of increasing STD rates in the United States and beyond.
As we mentioned above, getting tested is not as scary as it seems. In fact, it is easier and more convenient than ever. With your at-home STD testing kits, you can test for multiple infections without ever leaving home. That means no more boring waiting rooms and no more awkward discussions with your doctor.
At-Home STD Testing Kits
The process of testing from home is easy. First, choose your test. STD testing kits range from screenings for single infections like HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea to combination panel STD testing kits that screen for multiple infections at once. A variety of these combination kits are available, including the 4-panel Safe Box, the 5-panel women’s health V-Box, 8-panel Uber Box and the 14-panel Total Box. There’s even a Love Box, which allows you and your partner to test together! Once you’ve decided on which tests are right for you, you can order online. As you click “order,” breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you are taking control of your health.
Next, your STD testing kits will arrive in discreet packaging. Now you can read the simple instructions and take your test. This part only takes about five minutes! Better yet, it can be taken at any time and from any place. What a difference from the traditional clinic experience, right? Mail your sample back to the lab in the pre-paid return envelope that is included in your box.
Finally, it’s results time. As soon as the lab receives your sample, the lab starts its testing process. You will receive an email letting you know when these results are ready. Simply log into the secure user portal to get your status.
There you have it. When you test for STDs, you are keeping an eye on your sexual health – a great reminder during Sexual Health Month! But, you are also taking control of your overall health. Now that you know how simple this is, don’t stress. Just test!
Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA