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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 million STIs are acquired every day.

One reason for this is because even contraceptive methods, like condoms, are not always fail-proof. Overall, if you’re sexually active, you’re at risk for an STI.

But you don’t need an appointment to get tested. Nowadays, there are dozens of at-home testing kits.

Here’s how to figure out what type of at-home STD test is best for you, which products to consider, and when to see a doctor in person.

STIs are infections that are spread from one person to another during vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

An STI is only considered an STD — a disease — when it causes symptoms. Usually, an infection is the first step on the road to a disease, but hasn’t yet turned into disease and often doesn’t cause any symptoms.

Not all diseases start out as infections. But in the case of STDs, they do.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five people in the United States had an STD or STI on any given day in 2018.

Although common, most people don’t realize they have an STI because the majority of STIs cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms.

Common symptoms of STDs include pain during sex, urethral discharge or burning for those with penises, genital ulcers, sores or bumps, itching and abdominal pain. Vaginal discharge can also signify something is wrong.

Common STDs include:

  • syphilis
  • genital herpes
  • gonorrhea
  • hepatitis B
  • HIV
  • genital warts or human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • chlamydia
Healthline

It is important to note that, while most STDs are contracted through vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse, some can be transmitted through non-sexual means, such as blood transfusions and shared intravenous products, like needles and syringes.

As such, it is important you are tested frequently and regularly.

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an at-home STD test, which is why we turned to the experts.

To select the best, we polled several doctors, read various research studies, and asked fellow users. We also read dozens of reviews.

Pricing guide

Many insurance plans cover the cost of at-home STD tests. Unless otherwise noted, the prices listed reflect out-of-pocket costs.

$ = under $100
$$ = $100–$200
$$$ = over $200

Best overall

EverlyWell

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Self-collection
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis
  • Results: Within days

With a finger prick and vaginal swab, the EverlyWell at-home STD kit lets you discreetly test for six of the most common STDs. Each purchase comes with instructions, the materials for sample collection, prepaid shipping both ways, and both digital and printable results.

Aside from the kits, EverlyWell also offers independent tests for trichomoniasis, chlamydia and gonorrhea, hepatitis C, syphilis, and HIV.

Every EverlyWell test is reviewed and approved by an independent board certified doctor in your state. If there are any positive results, EverlyWell will connect you with their independent physician network (at no additional cost) to discuss questions and treatment options.

Best for medical support

LetsGetChecked

  • Price: $–$$$
  • Type: Self-collection
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, Gardnerella vaginalis, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, mycoplasma, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and ureaplasma
  • Results: 2–5 days

Available at CVS locations across the country and covered by both FSA and HSA accounts, LetsGetChecked is a convenient and accessible at-home tests and diagnostics company.

They offer four different types of tests:

  • Simple 2 ($99). This test checks for chlamydia and gonorrhea, the two most common STDs
  • Basic 3 ($119). This test checks for trichomoniasis in addition to chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Standard 5 ($149). This includes the tests in Basic 3, along with tests for HIV and syphilis. This is their most popular STD test and uses a finger prick and urine sample.
  • Complete 10 ($349). This checks for all the tests of the Standard 5, and it also includes testing for Gardnerella vaginalis, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, and herpes type 1 and 2. This uses finger prick and urine testing methods.

LetsGetChecked tests require you to collect a urine and blood sample, depending on which test you select.

The service also includes a medical support team to answer any questions. If your results are positive, a nurse or physician will call you to explain your results and provide treatment options.

Best for fast results

STD Check

  • Price: $
  • Type: Lab-based testing
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis (A, B, and C), HIV, herpes type 1 and 2, and syphilis
  • Results: 1–2 days

Quick, secure, and completely confidential, STD Check is a lab-based at-home test. This means you order the test over the phone or online, and then you go to a facility for sample collection.

Lab-based tests are generally more thorough than self-collected examinations. And, with 4,500 locations nationwide, STD Check is available and accessible to most.

While you can order individual tests from $24 to $99, the company’s full 10 Test Panel is their most comprehensive offer.

If you’re concerned about a recent exposure, you can add the HIV RNA Early Detection Test, which can detect an HIV infection as early as 6 days after exposure. HIV can be detected 9 to 11 days after exposure.

Best for couples

myLAB Box

  • Price: $–$$$
  • Type: Self-collection
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, HPV, mycoplasma, syphilis, and trichomoniasis
  • Results: 2–5 days

Exhaustive, comprehensive, and all-inclusive, myLAB Box offers several popular at-home STD kits:

  • Safe Box ($189). This box includes tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and HIV (1 and 2).
  • Total Box ($369): The company’s most comprehensive test includes tests for every condition in the Safe Box, plus hepatitis C, herpes type 2, syphilis, mycoplasma genitalium, and HPV (an optional add-on for women over 30 years old).
  • Uber Box ($269). This comprehensive 8-panel test tests for the most common STIs, including HIV (1 and 2), hepatitis C, herpes type 2, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.
  • V-Box ($189). This at-home vaginal test pack tests for all common causes of abnormal vaginal discharge, including yeast, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  • Love Box – Couple’s Kit ($499). This comprehensive 8-panel test tests couples for the most common STIs. It has tests for HIV (1 and 2), hepatitis C, herpes type 2, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. It includes a vaginal swab, urine collection, and blood test.

Aside from these, the service also sells individual tests for each STD or STI. These allow you to get the answers you need without having to drive to a lab or spend money on copays to visit a doctor’s office.

Every kit comes with a single-use collection kit, instructions, specimen bag, and a prepaid return envelope.

Best lab-based testing

HealthLabs

  • Price: $–$$$
  • Type: Lab-based testing
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes type 1 and 2, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis
  • Results: 2–4 days

HealthLabs works with around 4,000 labs certified by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. It can be an inexpensive and convenient option if you don’t have insurance, have high deductibles, or want confidentiality.

After placing a test order, HealthLabs doctors issue the lab requisition form, which you print out and take to the lab testing facility near you.

HealthLabs offers testing per individual STD, as well as the following panel tests:

  • Comprehensive STD Panel ($139). This is the company’s most popular STD test. It includes both blood and urine tests for the 10 most common STDs: HIV type 1 and 2, herpes type 1 and 2, chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis (A, B, and C), and syphilis.
  • Comprehensive STD Panel with Early HIV Detection ($258). This includes every test in the Comprehensive STD Panel and an HIV RNA test for early HIV detection.
  • Ultimate STD Panel (With Early HIV & Trich) ($298). This panel adds on a test for trichomoniasis and early detection HIV RNA testing.
  • Bacterial Infection STD Panel ($109). This panel includes tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
  • Viral STD Panel ($109). This tests for seven viral sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV type 1 and 2, herpes type 1 and 2, and hepatitis (A, B, and C).
  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Panel ($99). This urine test panel detects the strains of bacteria that cause chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Best for self-collection

Nurx

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • Type: Self-collection
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis
  • Results: Within 7 days

Although self-collected samples aren’t typically as good as those taken in a lab, Nurx ensures accuracy by collecting fluids from various parts of the body, such as a vaginal swab, throat swab, and rectal swab. This makes it possible to test for oral and anal STDs that might otherwise be missed.

Nurx offers three at-home test kits to choose from:

  • Healthy Woman Kit ($190). This kit tests for infections most common in people with vaginas: HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
  • Basics Covered Kit ($150). This is a great option for people who have completed comprehensive testing before and just want a check-up. It includes testing for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
  • Full Control Kit ($220). This is a comprehensive test for anyone who hasn’t gotten tested before or who hasn’t gotten tested in over a year. It tests for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and hepatitis C.

These tests are usually covered by insurance, and Nurx will bill your plan directly (or you can pay out of pocket, too). With insurance, you’ll pay $75 for the test kit, shipping both ways, and a $15 medical consultation fee.

Once Nurx collects your samples, they’ll bill your insurance directly for the cost of the lab testing. Without insurance, see the rates for each kit above. These prices include the test kit, lab work, and shipping both ways.

Best for privacy

Priority STD

  • Price: $–$$
  • Type: Lab-based testing
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis
  • Results: 1–3 days

Priority STD is one of the most reputable STD testing services. Most reviews say the tests are fast, private, and accurate. You can get same-day testing, same-day medications, and results in 24 to 72 hours.

You can purchase your Priority STD test privately, online or over the phone. With more than 4,000 labs across the country, there is bound to be a testing facility near you. After your testing, you can access your results online or by calling a care counselor. Treatment options are available as well.

Aside from individual STD tests, Priority STD offers the following panel tests:

  • Twin Panel ($129). This panel tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • 10-Panel Test ($198): Priority STD’s most popular test tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, herpes type 1 and 2, HIV 1 (Ab and Ag), and HIV 2 (Ab).

The service is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and they will not mail anything to your home or report anything to your healthcare professional.

With dozens of at-home testing kits available, it can be hard to choose the right test for you. After all, what does a good at-home STD testing kit look like? What should it entail? What do you need?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your needs will vary, depending on your situation and circumstances. What’s more, they may change over time.

Use this chart to help you determine which test is right for you.

Your situation Fully online test Home-to-lab test In-office test
testing out of curiosity X X X
testing after unprotected sex or a broken condom X X
experiencing unusual symptoms X
testing before or after a new partner X X
testing to confirm a prior infection has cleared X X
recent or current partner received a positive test X
want to stop using a condom with your current partner X X
haven’t had an in-office test in one or more years X X X

You should also make sure your test is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To determine if your product is FDA-approved, check the FDA’s website.

How do I know if I should get tested?

If you are sexually active or engaging in high-risk activities (like needle sharing), you should get tested.

In fact, according to the CDC, “Getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.”

How often should I get tested?

The CDC recommends that adults and adolescents aged 13 to 64 get tested for HIV at least once a year as part of their routine health check-up.

Sexually active women younger than 25 should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.

Those who are pregnant should be tested for syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV.

Sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea annually.

However, if symptoms arise, you shouldn’t wait. The quicker you’re tested, the sooner you can begin treatment.

Are STD tests accurate?

Most modern STD tests are very accurate. However, test accuracy varies depending on the type of sample collected and the test detection method.

Traditional in-office tests are more accurate than online-only tests, and home-to-lab tests are more accurate than self-collected ones. However, both are highly efficient.

Are STD tests covered by insurance?

While most insurance plans cover the cost of STD tests — as these tests are considered preventive and covered under Affordable Care Act — whether your plan covers a specific STD test depends on numerous factors, including your age, gender, risk factors, and if you’re pregnant.

What’s more, the coverage of at-home tests varies.

To learn more about your specific options, talk with your nurse, doctor, or health insurance provider.

You can also find free or low-cost STD testing sites across the country.

Whether you suspect you have an STD or not, it is important to test on a regular basis.

Testing can prevent the spread of STDs and STIs. It can also help you receive the appropriate treatment if you have a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection — because, yes, many STDs and STIs can be treated or cured.

While visiting a doctor or other healthcare professional is generally the most reliable way to know if you’ve contracted an STD, an at-home test is an excellent alternative. For many, an at-home test is a confidential and convenient option.


Kimberly Zapata is a mother, writer, and mental health advocate. Her work has appeared on several sites, including the Washington Post, HuffPost, Oprah, Vice, Parents, Health, and Scary Mommy — to name a few. When her nose isn’t buried in work (or a good book), Kimberly spends her free time running Greater Than: Illness, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower children and young adults struggling with mental health conditions. Follow Kimberly on Facebook or Twitter.