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What Are the Different Types of STD Test Kits?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2016
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There are various types of sexually transmitted disease (STD) test kits a person may use at home. For example, a person may find kits for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), chlamydia, and gonorrhea. There are even some test kits that are designed to detect hepatitis, a disease that is sometimes, but not always, spread through sexual contact. These tests allow an individual to take a sample of blood or urine at home and then send the sample to a lab for testing. Despite the fact that there are different types of STD test kits available to those who want to test at home, some experts recommend against using them since there may be an increased risk of false results due to human error.

One type of home STD test kit is designed to detect the presence of HIV, the virus that causes a potential deadly disease called acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), in a person’s blood. To use this type of test kit, a person usually has to prick his own finger and mail several drops of his blood to a lab for analysis. The kit typically includes anonymous codes so a person can retrieve his results by phone without identifying himself.

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An individual may also test for chlamydia and gonorrhea at home. Both of these diseases are caused by bacteria, so home tests involve evaluating whether the bacteria that cause these diseases are present in the tester’s body. Both types of home STD test kits involve taking a small urine sample and then sending the sample to a lab via the mail. The results may be retrievable by phone using a special code or via a self-addressed, stamped envelope the test taker mails with his urine sample.

Home test kits for hepatitis C also are available. Hepatitis C is a bloodborne illness that can be sexually transmitted. As with HIV testing, this test involves pricking one’s finger and sending a sample of blood to a lab for testing. In most cases, the test taker gets the result by calling a specified number and providing a special code or pin.

STD test kits can provide options for a person who wants to test in the privacy of his home. It is important to note, however, that the tests may not prove as accurate as those that are performed by medical professionals. For this reason, a person may do well to visit his doctor for testing instead. If an individual does decide to use STD test kits, following up with testing through a doctor is typically recommended.

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