At Home STD Testing? No way.
Yes way. Now you can order STD tests from the comfort and privacy of your bedroom. These days you can order everything from razors, mattresses, and tampons straight to your door. With sexually transmitted infections (STIs – also known as sexually transmitted diseases, STDs) at record highs, it’s about time that healthcare catch up to the direct-to-consumer trend
If you no longer have to have awkward eye contact with cashiers as you buy your menstrual products, you definitely shouldn’t have to endure the uncomfortable conversations associated with STI screening. Luckily, companies like binx are bringing sexual wellness to you door-step, making preventative health care more discrete and less inconvenient.
How Does at Home Testing Work?
First, it’s important to define what we mean by home testing. Dr. Heller explains, “There are some at home tests, like pregnancy tests, where you do the test at home, you develop it, and you get the answer right then and there. For STIs the tests are usually a bit more complicated. Most cannot be developed at home to give you the answer right away.” In this context, home testing refers to the ability to collect the samples at home. At-home sample collection allows you to avoid doctor’s visits. Nervous about collecting your own sample? That’s completely understandable, but don’t worry! It’s simple, quick, and relatively painless.
Some tests can be done with a simple urine collection and you’ve got that covered. Other tests require a throat, vaginal, or anal swab, which you do with what is essentially an extra-long Q-tip. The throat swab is comparable to those done for a strep test. With regards to the other swabs, remember that the swab is tiny relative to other things that pass through those spaces, so the process should be easy. Lastly, you complete some tests with a blood sample that you collect through a finger prick. You’ll use a small device called a lancet – the same tool that patients with diabetes use multiple times a day. Next, you dab the pricked finger onto a small card to collect the sample. Once you collect your specimens, you mail them to the lab for processing. binx provides you with prepaid packaging for shipping.
Can I Trust it?
binx laboratory partners are certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) as well as accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). As required, they also possess certain state laboratory licenses. CLIA refers to federal laws and regulations applicable to all U.S. facilities that test human specimens for health assessment or to diagnose, prevent, or treat disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), supports the CLIA program and clinical laboratory quality.
CAP releases its own requirements which may exceed CLIA regulations. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program the authority to accredit clinical laboratories. Plus, the testing platforms our tests are run on are all FDA cleared, so you can rest assured you’re in good – and accurate – hands. You will get your results within 3-4 days of sending back your samples. Then, if your results are positive, you’ll receive a phone call from a clinician to discuss next steps.
Why Test from Home?
Dr. Heller explains that many patients prefer it for “the privacy, the convenience, and for some people, also the cost”. Getting tested in the conventional way can be a hassle and time consuming. One study found that the average time required for a physician visit was about two hours. Of that, only about 20 minutes was spent with the physician and the rest was spent traveling or waiting. In addition to the lost time, the average amount of lost wages due to a doctor’s visit was $43. That is more that what the actual visit often costs! While this investment is well worthwhile for many doctor visits, routine STI screening may not require such time and inconvenience. Throughout his practice, Dr. Heller has seen that “if STI testing is not easy and convenient, it’s not going to get done.” Luckily, collecting samples at home is both fast and convenient.
In a world of direct-to-consumer products redefining convenience, it is important to ensure healthcare doesn’t fall behind. With the busyness of daily life, making time for preventative healthcare can seem hopeless. Luckily, at home testing makes it possible. binx empowers patients to access care in a way that fits within their life. Take the first step to getting tested from the comfort of your couch by taking this quick quiz.