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How Accurate are STD Home Tests?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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It is hard to say exactly how accurate STD home tests are, but they are thought to be less accurate than STD tests taken in doctor’s offices. This is, in part, due to the potential for human error in taking the test and collecting and storing the required samples. It may also have to do with the increased tendency of labs to return false negatives on STD tests that are taken at home. The quality of the lab itself plays a role in the accuracy of STD home tests, and some experts assert that many of them are lacking.

The consensus among many health experts is that it is better to visit a medical professional to obtain the most accurate test results when it comes to STDs. It is possible for STD home tests to provide accurate results, however. As such, some experts assert that STD home tests are better than no testing at all. If a person takes a home STD test, he may do well to follow up with his doctor within a reasonable amount of time to double-check the results.

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While an individual cannot control what happens to an STD test sample after he has sent it off to a lab, he can boost his chances of obtaining accurate results by carefully reading the instructions that accompany the STD home test kit and following them 100 percent. Improvising with an STD test may lead to contamination of the sample, improper storage of the sample, and the collection of too little of the sample for accurate testing. When a person doesn’t follow the directions on an STD home test, his chances of getting accurate results are dramatically lower.

An individual may also boost his chances of getting accurate results on STD home tests by carefully researching the companies that manufacture them to see whether or not they are reputable and reliable. An individual may find reviews of home STD test companies as well as complaints people have written against them. Such information may help an individual decide which companies to patronize versus those that may be best avoided. Researching the lab that will be used for the testing may also help a person make a good choice.

The simpler the testing process, the easier it may be to obtain accurate results on STD home tests. If the user only has to swab a sore and keep the swab from getting contaminated, this may be simpler than taking blood samples and keeping them from getting contaminated. For this reason, simpler test requirements may translate into a higher likelihood of accurate results.

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Discuss this Article

Laotionne
Post 3

My concern with a home aids test or a home herpes test is that the results might come back negative because the test was not a good one or because the person didn't follow instructions. When this happens, the person assumes he is fine and he continues to have sex and put his partner or partners at risk.

This is really dangerous because we are talking about diseases that don't have cures. I know there is always a chance of problems with any test, but we need to make sure that only the best ones are on the market, or none of them should be on the market.

Feryll
Post 2

I think home STD tests are good because you can buy one of them as soon as you have worries and then get the process started. And even more importantly, many people are afraid to go to a medical professional when they are concerned about having gotten a sexually transmitted infection.

I knew several people in high school and college who refused to go to a doctor or to the medical center to get tested even though they had symptoms. They simply waited until the condition got worse and they eventually had to seek medical help, or they ignored the problem until it went away. A home STD test would have been a good alternative for them.

Animandel
Post 1

I wonder whether home herpes tests and other home STD tests really serve a purpose. As the article states, the tests are not as reliable as tests done by a doctor or medical center. If I took one of the tests I would still be concerned that the results were not accurate.

So you take the test and get results that you can't be sure of. You're basically in the same boat as you were in before you took the test. I say skip the middle man and go straight to the doctor and get results you trust, one way or the other.

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