I. What Types of STDs Are Tested With a 10 Test Panel?

A 10 test panel is ideal for individuals who have had intercourse or who have engaged in other sexual acts with someone whose history they aren’t explicitly familiar with. It tests for 10 different STDs and can yield accurate results on some tests as soon as one day after exposure, while others require up to three months before results are accurate. The STDs a 10 test panel tests for include:

  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis A, B, and C
  • Herpes type 1 and 2
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV type 1 and 2

II. How Does a 10 Test Panel Work?

When taking a 10 test panel, laboratory technicians draw blood and plasma, take a small sample of fluid from the genitals, and request a urine specimen from the patient. Each sample is sent to a laboratory to test for the infections listed above. The test requires the samples listed in the table below, which must be taken once the specified exposure time has passed.

STDType of TestTime Required for Accurate Results
SyphilisPlasmaThree to six weeks after possible exposure
HIV 1BloodNine to 11 days after possible exposure
HIV 2BloodNine to 11 days after possible exposure
Hepatitis ABloodTwo to seven weeks after possible exposure
Hepatitis BBloodThree to six weeks after possible exposure
Hepatitis CBloodEight to nine weeks after possible exposure
Herpes, type 1BloodFour to six weeks after possible exposure
Herpes, type 2BloodFour to six weeks after possible exposure
ChlamydiaUrineOne to five days after possible exposure
GonorrheaUrineTwo to six days after exposure

How to Prepare for a 10 Test Panel

While no fasting is required for any of the 10 test panel samples that will be taken, chlamydia and gonorrhea tests do require that patients abstain from urinating for one hour prior to testing.

III. How to Get Tested

STD testing is an important part of being a responsible, sexually active adult, and it’s also something that many adolescents have to do as well. Regardless of age, those who aren’t comfortable discussing or requesting a 10 test panel from their family doctor might want to consider visiting a walk-in clinic or sexual health clinic outside of their regular network. At these clinics, any doctor or nurse can provide a requisition for laboratory tests, helping those who need it to avoid uncomfortable or awkward conversations with their regular health care provider.

IV. Other Testing Options

There are some websites that offer 10 test panel kits that can be shipped directly to consumers’ homes. These kits include everything needed to collect blood and urine samples and conduct all 10 STD tests in the home. While online STD testing is certainly convenient, it’s not always entirely sterile, and without a controlled environment, such as a medical laboratory, inaccurate results are all too common.

For patients who are concerned that they may have contracted an STD, using the information in the guide above and obtaining a 10 test panel requisition from a medical professional, such as a family or clinic doctor or nurse, is the safest and most accurate way to find out. While it may be stressful to visit a doctor and laboratory to request the test, it’s important for patients to understand that some of these STDs are common and curable, while others can often be treated to minimize symptoms and relieve any associated discomfort.

V. Frequently Asked Questions

Will the doctor or laboratory technician use swabs to test for any STDs?

Although swabs can be used to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia, most 10 test panels rely on urine tests for these illnesses. In most cases, patients shouldn’t expect to be swabbed, although some doctors may use this method. If a swab is required, it’s usually quick and painless. The process consists of using a long cotton swab to take a sample of fluid from the patient’s genitals, throat, or anus, depending on where the symptoms are present.

Can women undergo a 10 test panel while on their period?

Yes, menstruation has no effect on the results of STD tests. However, some females prefer to avoid collecting urine samples during their period. Those who do can choose to wait a few extra days before requesting this test.

How long does it take to receive results?

Laboratories across the United States may vary when it comes to processing times, but in most cases, urine tests can take up to one week while blood tests can take up to two.

If results are positive, are patients required to tell their current and former sexual partners?

While not all instances of positive STD tests need to be reported to sexual partners, there are some that are considered reportable, such as HIV, gonorrhea, and hepatitis A, B, and C. For those who’ve been diagnosed with a reportable disease, it’s against the law to engage in sexual contact with any partner without informing them of the diagnosis. Additionally, patients are required to provide information regarding former sexual partners so that they can be notified and request testing from their physician. These notifications can be sent anonymously from the public health department to protect the patient’s identity.

Do doctors perform these STD tests during pap smears?

While some doctors may request a urine sample or take a swab to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia during pap tests, they don’t typically collect blood to test for other STDs such as HIV and syphilis unless it’s requested by the patient.

How often should a 10 test panel be performed?

Many factors go into deciding when to request any STD testing. The best general rule to follow is to speak to a doctor about testing any time a patient is engaging in sexual activity with a new partner. Those who are in long-term, committed relationships should also consider annual or semiannual tests, as some STDs can remain dormant for months before yielding a positive test result.