Where To Get Std Testing For Free With Or Without A Copay
From free clinics to at-home testing, there are plenty of places to get tested if you cant or dont want to head to your physician.
No one wants to hear that they have an STD. But getting tested and knowing is better than letting it worsen.
Talking about sex with a doctor is not fun. Even though doctors are prepared to talk about these things and frequently discuss them with other patients, bringing up your own sex life to your provider can feel awkward or downright embarrassing, especially if the thing you want to talk about is a sexually transmitted disease .
If you suspect you have an STD, though, you should talk to your doc as soon as you can. Dont wait for symptoms to appear, because many STDs dont show signs until months after youve contracted the disease, and some may not show signs at all.
But what if you cant afford to go to a doctor, or dont have access to one that can do a test? There are still plenty of options to get tested, and some of them are free. We rounded up all the different ways you can get checked for STDs without seeing your primary care doctor.
Read Also: What Medicine Is Used To Treat Herpes
Your Name And Details
When you go to a sexual health clinic, youll be asked for your name and some contact details.
You dont have to give your real name if you dont want to. If you do, it will be kept confidential. Your GP wont be told about your visit without your permission.
If you have tests and the results arent available during your visit, the clinic will need to contact you later, so give them the correct contact details.
The clinic will ask how you want to receive your results. They can usually be given to you over the phone, by text, or in an unmarked letter.
Who Will Know I Got Tested
All lab services and clinic medical records are strictly confidential. This information is kept between you and your doctor.
Minors do not need parental consent for STI testing or treatment. STI testing and treatment information will not be shared with parents of minors without the minors permission.
If you have charges for an STI test, they will be transferred to your Student Account within 30 days of the visit. These charges do not give details of your visit and will only appear as Health Center Visit Charges. No one will know from your charges that you received STI testing at the health center.
If you use health insurance to get tested, you should consider who else has access to that information . If you do not want to submit your charge to insurance, please tell the front desk staff member at check-in.
Positive results for some STIs, like HIV or syphilis, may be shared with state or city health departments for tracking purposes, but there are laws preventing health departments from sharing your test results with your family, friends or employer.
Be sure to ask your health care provider who will know that you got tested and your results, especially if you are using insurance. Ask questions and stay informed.
You May Like: What Can Help Herpes Outbreaks
Reliability And Choosing A Home Test
People who are considering buying a home test may wish to seek advice from a pharmacist on which test is likely to be best for them. The pharmacist may also be able to show them how to collect the sample at home to prevent inaccuracies.
People who are looking for an at-home herpes test should consider the following before making a purchase:
- Clear information: The company should offer all of the information that a person needs for testing, including clear and complete instructions.
- Consultations: Some companies offer consultations for people who may wish to discuss their sexual health concerns, particularly if they receive a positive result.
- Treatment plan: Online providers may suggest further testing or treatment depending on the individuals results and concerns.
- Certified laboratories: Some companies work with laboratories with
Medical Clinic Hiv Testing
While we offer at-home HIV testing to make it both convenient and private for our patients, we also offer the same discreet free HIV testing for those that are uninsured at our Orange County medical clinic.
Our LGBTQ+ medical clinic in Irvine has a long history of treating sexually transmitted diseases. We work closely with patients to provide medication, mental health counseling and additional support after a positive test result.
Recommended Reading: What Can You Take For Herpes
Can It Lie Dormant
The herpes virus can lie dormant in the body for years before people experience any symptoms.
After people have the first outbreak of herpes, the virus then lies dormant in the nervous system. Any further outbreaks are due to the virus reactivating, which causes symptoms to appear.
Symptoms are usually less severe during repeat outbreaks. Sores also clear up more quickly, often within 37 days. This is due to the antibodies the body produces to fight the first outbreak of herpes. The body can then use these antibodies to respond more quickly to future outbreaks.
There is currently no cure for herpes. Even if a person stops experiencing symptoms, the virus will remain inside their body.
It is also important to point out that herpes is transmissible even when no sores or other symptoms are present. For this reason, early prevention is advisable.
Condoms and dental dams do not offer complete protection against the herpes virus, as herpes can live on areas around the genitals. However, these methods do reduce the likelihood of contracting the infection or passing it on.
Both people can then take additional steps to reduce the likelihood of transmission. These steps may include:
Dont Miss: What Can I Use For Herpes
Using Condoms To Protect Against Stis
The best way to protect yourself from getting or passing on an infection is to use a condom every time you have sex. The clinic can give you some condoms so you can practice safer sex.
Always buy condoms that have the CE mark or BSI kite mark on the packet. This means theyve been tested to high safety standards.
Condoms that dont have the CE mark or BSI kite mark wont meet these standards, so dont use them. Get tips on using condoms properly.
Bear in mind that having had an STI once doesnt make you immune to it you can get the same infection again.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Herpes Dr Sebi
To Get Tested For An Std
- Walk-ins, during clinic hours, are accepted but it may take you longer to be seen.
- Please cancel your appointment if you have a fever, new onset of cough, and/or if you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- In order to maintain physical distancing, no additional guests will be allowed in the clinic other than sex partner that may also need to be examined or treated.
- There are no fees for testing. If STD treatment is needed, that is also free.
Kansas City, Mo. Health Department2400 Troost Ave.
Questions For Your Doctor After At
The following questions about the results of at-home genital and oral herpes testing may be helpful for patients to discuss with their doctor:
- Is my at-home herpes test result reliable?
- What is the most likely explanation for my test result?
- Are there any follow-up tests that you recommend?
- How should I discuss my test result with sexual partners?
Also Check: Can You Put Abreva On Genital Herpes
Whats The Difference Between Hsv
There are two types of HSV. HSV-1 is transmitted through oral contact. You can catch HSV-1 through mouth-to-mouth contact or through oral contact with the genitals. The sores associated with HSV-1 are often referred to as cold sores. Though they typically appear around the mouth, HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes.
HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted infection that primarily impacts the genitals. HSV-2 is spread through contact with the genitals, skin, fluids, or sores of someone with the virus. If HSV-2 comes into contact with the oral membranes, it may also cause sores on the mouth. Both types of herpes may spread even when symptoms are not evident and are lifelong viruses with no cure.
How Is It Treated
There is no cure for herpes, but treatment can ease symptoms and prevent recurrences.
Antiviral medications are very effective and very safe, even when taken for long periods:
- Initial infections are treated for up to 10 days to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.
- Recurrences can be treated with short one day courses of episodic therapy, started at the very first sign of symptoms.
- Frequent recurrences can be suppressed by taking a continuous daily medication. Suppressive therapy also has the advantage of reducing transmission to sexual partners.
People with herpes often switch between episodic and suppressive therapies according to their needs and circumstances.
Recommended Reading: Is Herpes And Cold Sores The Same Thing
You May Like: What Dies Genital Herpes Look Like
Why Is Testing For Genital Herpes Only Recommended For People Who Have Symptoms
CDC recommends herpes testing for people who have genital symptoms for herpes to confirm that they are infected. These events are called having an outbreak, and they appear as blisters on or around the genitals, rectum, or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take weeks to heal. Testing allows a doctor to talk with you about what to expect in the future, which medications are available to help manage any symptoms, and how you can lower your risk of spreading the infection to your sex partner.
If you have a partner with genital herpes, testing can tell if you also have the virus. If you are not infected, your doctor can talk to you about ways to lower your risk of getting genital herpes. If you are a pregnant woman and have a partner with genital herpes, it is very important to get tested. If you get genital herpes during pregnancy your baby could also become infected. Herpes infections in babies can be life-threatening. If you are infected, your doctor will talk to you about your diagnosis and the possible symptoms of genital herpes. In addition, herpes blood testing may be useful if you are seeking a complete STD exam, especially if you have multiple sex partners.
How To Choose The Right Herpes Test For You
Every herpes test has its own benefits and drawbacks. Its best to discuss your options with a medical professional to make the right choice for your healthcare needs.
It may be helpful to choose your herpes test based on your symptoms. Early in the disease, before a clear herpes outbreak appears, some test methodologies like a PCR test and an antibody blood test can yield false-negative results. On the other hand, a viral culture may yield false-negative results later in the disease.
If you want to receive test results that provide a comprehensive evaluation of your infection, consider using multiple herpes testing methods. If getting a rapid result is your priority, a PCR test is the fastest option.
Read Also: Does Herpes Get Better Over Time
Sample Collection And Analysis
Your clinician will collect a small blood sample from you. This will normally be done with a lancet which will be used to prick your finger. They will add you blood to the testing cassette with two drops of buffer. There are three sections to Better2Knows Herpes testing cassette where lines may appear, one of these is a control line which confirms the test has run correctly.
If there are three lines showing on the test cassette, then you have tested positive for Herpes IgM and IgG antibodies. If there are only two lines you have tested positive for either IgM or IgG antibodies, depending on which line has appeared. If there is only one line, this being the control line, then your instant Herpes test is negative for infection.
Genital Herpes Is Common Shouldnt Cdc Recommend Testing For Everyone
CDC recommends herpes testing for people who have genital symptoms to confirm if they have it. Testing allows a healthcare provider to talk with patients about what to expect in the future. This includes talking about medications that help with symptoms. Providers can also tell patients how to lower the risk of transmitting herpes to sex partner.
CDC does not recommend herpes testing for people without symptoms in most situations. This is because of the limits of a herpes blood test and the possibility of a wrong test result. The chances of wrong test results are higher for people who are at low risk of infection.
Blood tests might be useful if:
- You have genital symptoms that could be related to herpes, or
- You have a sex partner with genital herpes, or
- Your provider found signs of herpes, but you still need a test to confirm it.
If you are sexually active, talk openly and honestly with your healthcare provider about what tests are right for you. These tips can help.
Don’t Miss: What Does Herpes Do To Your Body
How Much Does An Std Test Cost
How much you pay for STD testing depends on where you go, what tests you need, your income, and whether or not you use health insurance. It costs anywhere from $0-250, depending on which STDs youre getting tested for, and whether or not you have symptoms or need an exam.
You can probably get STD testing for free or at a reduced price if you have health insurance. STD testing can also be free or low cost with Medicaid and other government programs. And some health centers including many Planned Parenthood health centers give free or low-cost STD tests, depending on your income.
Planned Parenthood works to provide you with the services you need, whether or not you have health insurance. If youre worried about cost, check with your local Planned Parenthood health center, local health department, or other community health center to see if they can hook you up with STD testing that fits your budget.
What Is A Genital Herpes Test
Genital herpes tests can detect the herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 .
The viruses can be tested by using:
- swabs on the sores
Swab tests are more commonly used at clinics and in home testing kits, but there needs to be sores or blisters for a fluid sample to be collected. Where a sample can be taken, a swab test is really effective. We offer testing through swabs and urine . Where there are no blisters or lesions, a blood test is sometimes used. We do not offer blood testing for HSV.
Also Check: How To Clean Genital Herpes
Before You Get Tested
If you have concerns about getting tested or other sexual health matters, consider speaking with a counselor from a community agency before you order your test: Find what you need at linkudmv.org. You can also schedule a telehealth appointment or in-person appointment with the DC Health and Wellness Center at 741-7692 to get support.If you think you have been exposed to HIV without any form of protection, breathe. We have ways to support you. PEP â or post-exposure prophylaxis â can lower your chances of getting HIV. PEP must be taken within 72 hours after you were exposed to HIV, but the sooner you start it, the better. If you think you need PEP, call the DC Health and Wellness Center at 741-7962. Weâd be happy to help you find the best solution.If you are experiencing symptoms of an STD or if you were intimate with someone who has tested positive for an STD, do not request a test kit. Instead, call the DC Health and Wellness Center at 741-7962 or a provider of your choice for treatment. For more information about your sexual health, including facts about HIV and STDs, visit sexualbeing.org, which is for everyone, or sexisdc.org, which is especially for youth. â
How Does The At
At-home herpes tests take advantage of the fact that blood tests for herpes are widely available through commercial lab-testing sites. The vast majority of at-home herpes tests use the same tests that would be ordered at the doctors office, provided by the same laboratories. However, instead of going to a doctor, the tests are ordered online. This can be a good option for people who are uncomfortable discussing sexual behavior with their doctor or whose doctor is not willing to test for herpes.
Don’t Miss: Foods To Avoid With Herpes Outbreak
Can Herpes Simplex Virus Cause Serious Infections
Yes. The most serious, or life-threatening, HSV infections can occur in newborns who are infected during birth and in individuals with weakened immune systems , such as organ transplant recipients and people with HIV/AIDS. Neonatal herpes is a serious condition, but also very rare. While 25-30% of pregnant women have genital herpes, less than 0.1% of babies born in the U.S. each year get neonatal herpes. This means that most women with genital herpes give birth to healthy babies.
HSV lesions tend to be more extensive and persist longer in newborns and immunocompromised people than in individuals who have healthy immune systems.
How Do I Get Tested For Stis And/or Hiv At The Health Center
Step 1: Call the health center at and follow the options to speak to a nurse. Tell the nurse that youd like to get tested. The nurse line is usually available Monday through Friday from 8:20 a.m. to 4:40 p.m.
Step 2: Nursing will ask you a few questions and put in an order for your testing at our laboratory.
Step 3: Walk in at your convenience and check in at the health center front desk Monday through Friday between 8:20 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Tell the registration staff that youre checking in for lab only. Our staff will get you checked in and direct you to the lab, where you will complete your testing.
Step 4: Nursing staff will call you in a few business days with results and schedule follow-up as needed. Results will also be available in your One Chart | Patient portal in about two to three business days.
Don’t Miss: How Does Someone Get Herpes