Quick vs. Quality STD Testing: What you need to know

When it comes to STD testing, all results are not created equal. There are highly accurate results available from some groups, and some facilities/retailers that provide testing products which have been proven to not be quite as accurate.

Maybe faster, but less accurate. And this is your health we’re talking about here. Not getting a gas station burrito.

In other words, your health and wellbeing shouldn’t be microwaveable!

Even if the accuracy is only a few percentage points lower, that’s still more of a risk you’re taking that an infection may be misdiagnosed…or missed altogether! The reason for this lies mainly in the manner in which the test is administered and/or the samples are processed.

There are usually two different types of diagnostic screenings available:

Rapid, instant testing (examples: HIV mouth swabs like OraQuick or instant home STD kits) provides results in as few as 15 minutes or at least same day. While getting a rapid result is initially great for the nerves for anxious testers, the problem is, the quicker and less professionally-administered the test, the more likely the result will be less than completely accurate.

Think about it…If you can buy a $15 kit or test at Walgreen’s and do it in the parking lot rather than a sterile lab environment, you’re probably inviting inaccuracy.

Private, professional lab testing (examples: Wellex/Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp) usually can get you into a lab same day and provide the most accurate results in the medical field in just 1-3 business days.

And that’s a whole lot faster than most other medical facilities and doctors’ offices, which make you wait a week to two weeks usually before you can get results….and that’s after you had to wait a week or two at least to get into see them.

So here’s hoping you pick quality over quickness…after all, your life may end up depending on it.

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