To arrive at our list of the best at-home STD tests, we researched the most popular options available in the industry on three core metrics: FDA-approval, convenience, and whether professional healthcare support is available. Read our full methodology below.
Everlywell STD screening kits come in discreet packaging, with all the necessary materials for collecting and storing samples. Customers register their kit online, collect their samples, and return them to Everlywell in a prepaid shipping envelope. Samples are analyzed in a CLIA-certifed lab, and reviewed by a licensed physician.
Within five days, users get their personalized report via Everlywell’s website. Those who receive a positive result for certain conditions have the opportunity to speak to a physician for treatment recommendations.
Individuals looking for a fast, convenient way to get a comprehensive STD screening should consider the Complete 10 STD test kit from LetsGetChecked. The kit screens for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, trichomoniasis, gardnerella, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, and herpes simplex I and II using blood and urine samples.
Physician-reviewed results are available within 2-5 days via LetsGetChecked’s secure online portal. Nurses are available to provide further information and treatment options to individuals who receive positive test results. LetsGetChecked’s Complete 10 test is $349, and includes free shipping. Customers can also subscribe to receive a test kit every three months at a discounted price.
Available tests: Chlamydia, Gardnerella, Gonorrhea, Herpes, HIV, HPV, Mycoplasma, Trichomoniasis, Ureaplasma
Results turnaround time: 3-5 business days (free shipping); 1-2 business days (express shipping)
Physician support included: No
This at-home test, which is adapted from a clinically proven method used by healthcare professionals, requires only an oral swab. The kit comes with all of the necessary materials, including an oral swab stick and a testing solution. The test has a simple read-out that indicates a positive or negative result.
The test kit can be purchased directly from OraQuick for $39.99, or from other retailers like Amazon, CVS, and RiteAid. For individuals who receive a positive result, OraQuick can connect them with professional counseling and care resources.
This test kit comes with all of the materials needed to collect and return a urine sample. All of iDNA’s testing is FDA-approved, and results are reviewed in a CLIA-certified lab. Customers must register their test kit so they can retrieve their results through a secure online portal via iDNA’s website or mobile app.
iDNA’s pBOX costs $108, and shipping both ways is included. For users who test positive, iDNA offers free re-testing.
Available tests: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis C, Herpes 2, HIV, HPV, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis
Results turnaround time: 3-5 business days (first class mail); 1-3 business days (priority mail); Overnight (priority mail express)
Physician support included: No
Nurx is an online service dedicated to giving women better access to healthcare, including STD testing. They offer three STD testing kits. The Healthy Woman Kit ($190), which tests for the infections that most commonly affect women; the Basics Covered Kit ($150), designed for people who just need a status check, and the Full Control Kit ($220), a comprehensive screening for chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and hepatitis C.
Depending on the test, users will be asked to provide urine and blood samples, as well as throat, vaginal, and rectal swabs. Shipping is included, and users will get their results within seven days.
MyLab Box offers a wide variety of at-home STD testing kits for men and women, but one of their unique features is the Love Box. This kit comes with two comprehensive tests, based on the genders of those in the relationship, that screen for various infections, including HIV, hepatitis C, herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. The Love Box costs $499, and includes free shipping both ways.
With this screening, users collect and return urine and blood samples, which are analyzed in CLIA-certified labs. Lab results are available within 3-5 days, and physicians are available for consultations for individuals who receive positive test results.
Available tests: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis C, Herpes , HIV, HPV, Mycoplasma genitalium, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis
Results turnaround time: 2-5 days
Physician support included: Yes
For users who want their test results as fast as possible, there’s STD Rapid Tests. This company offers several different individual and comprehensive test kits that return results within 15 minutes.
Their Complete STD Rapid Test Kit Pack, which costs $109, screens for HIV 1 & 2, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes 2, and hepatitis B and C, using blood and urethra swabs. All tests have received ISO13485 and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certifications, which are recognized by the World Health Organization, Food, and Drug Administration, and the EU Commission. STD Rapid Testing Kits can be shipped anywhere in the world.
Available tests: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B & C, Herpes 2 , HIV, Syphilis
Results turnaround time: 15 minutes
Physician support included: No
With something as sensitive as an STD test, it’s important for customers to know that they are getting a trustworthy product. That’s why we only included companies that offer FDA-approved tests. This approval means that tests have been expertly evaluated for safety and effectiveness, so customers can feel confident that they can trust the processes and results.
Many individuals turn to at-home STD test kits because they are more convenient than scheduling an appointment and traveling to a doctor’s office or health clinic. To evaluate a company’s convenience, we looked at their turnaround times, including how long customers have to wait to receive their kits, and the turnaround time for results once their samples are sent to the lab. We also prioritized companies that included free shipping and prepaid envelopes for samples, to ensure customers have everything they need on hand to complete their tests.
Receiving a positive STD test result can be scary, but having the support of a healthcare professional can help make the process easier. We prioritized companies that provide some sort of support for people who test positive, whether it’s the opportunity to speak with a physician or nurse, or resources for connecting with a local clinic or physician for follow-up care.
Generally speaking, the process is the same for all at-home STD tests. Customers order the test (or tests) they want from the company’s website, and the company ships the kit in discreet packaging.
The kit should include everything required to safely and sterilely collect samples. Samples can include blood, urine, oral swabs, vaginal swabs, and rectal swabs. The kit should include an inventory list so you can confirm that you have everything you need, as well as detailed instructions for properly collecting and storing your samples. You will also receive instructions for registering your kit online. Registration is required so that the lab can track and accurately report your results. Failure to register your kit before mailing your samples can result in delays.
Once you receive your kit and confirm that you have the required items, you can collect your samples. It’s important that you follow the collection instructions precisely, and stay aware of potential contamination. For example, resting sterile items on an unsterilized surface like a bathroom sink can result in contamination. An adulterated or otherwise contaminated sample can yield false or inconclusive results. Once you have collected all of your samples, pack everything according to the instructions and mail it in the time frame indicated in the instructions.
Once the lab receives the completed kit, the samples inside it are put through the same tests used by in-person doctors to check for STDs. Be aware of the different types of tests available. Some kits are marketed as “FDA-approved,” while others use “FDA-approved methods/technology.” The second type can be less expensive, and it may be equally accurate, but the specific method or lab used by these services might not be certified as accurate by the FDA.
The turnaround time for results varies by company and lab, with the average being about five days. Generally, customers can view their results through a secure online patient portal the company establishes specifically for that purpose.
Depending on the company, customers who test positive for certain STDs, like HIV, chlamydia, or gonorrhea, will receive their results via phone call, so a healthcare practitioner can provide additional information for follow-up care. For other STDs, it is recommended to speak with your own healthcare provider about treatment as soon as you can. Many companies also offer a free re-test for positive results.
A few factors can affect the accuracy of at-home STD tests, including correct sample collection and timing.
According to Dr. Shweta Patel, an obstetrician and gynecologist with the University of Alabama – Birmingham School of Medicine, “Accuracy is essential, and accuracy in home tests for STDs is dependent on the collection process. Knowing from my practice what is needed to get an adequate swab sample, I wonder if people are accomplishing that task at home.”
To ensure that you are collecting your samples correctly, follow all of the instructions provided with the kit, and make sure that the materials you’re using are as sterile as possible.
Timing can also affect the accuracy of at-home STD testing, as different infections have different incubation periods. If individuals are tested too soon after an infection occurs, a false negative is possible, according to H. Hunter Handsfield, a scientific advisor to the American Sexual Health Association. This is why it is important for individuals to get tested at regular intervals, which at-home test kits can facilitate.
In general, users can trust the accuracy of their at-home STD testing. Many companies offer free re-testing for positive results, and users who have concerns about their results are encouraged to speak directly to a healthcare provider.
The timing and frequency for STD testing varies by the type of infection, and individual factors.
The CDC has recommendations for how often individuals should be tested for STDs based on their gender, age, sexual orientation, and sexual behaviors. These recommendations are minimums; individuals should be tested immediately if they notice any symptoms, regardless of when their last test was.
|Individuals in this group…||Should be tested for…||At least…|
|All sexually active individuals between the ages of 13-64||HIV||Once per year|
|All sexually active women under age 25||Chlamydia and gonorrhea||Once per year|
|All sexually active women over age 25, with new or multiple partners, or a partner with an STD||Chlamydia and gonorrhea||Once per year|
|Pregnant women||Syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B||Early in their pregnancy, and at regular intervals throughout|
|All sexually active gay and bisexual men||Syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV||Once per year|
|All sexually active gay and bisexual men with multiple or anonymous partners||Syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV||Every 3-6 months|
|Individuals who have unprotected sex or share drug injection equipment||HIV||Once per year|
Another factor that complicates STD testing is that different infections have different incubation periods. This means that, even if an individual is infected, a test may not provide accurate results if the infection is still in what is known as the “window period,” when there are not detectable amounts of the infection in a person’s system. Regular testing can help account for window periods of infections.
For individuals who are diagnosed and treated for an STD, it is also important to get re-tested to confirm that the course of treatment cured the infection. The chart below details the window periods of common STDs, and indicates which ones require retesting after treatment.
|STD||Window Period||Re-Test?||Re-Test Period|
|Chlamydia||1-5 days||Yes||2 weeks after treatment ends|
|Gonorrhea||2-6 days||Yes||2 weeks after treatment ends|
|Syphilis||3-6 weeks||Yes||3 months after treatment ends|
|Hepatitis A||2-7 weeks (28 days on average)||n/a||n/a|
|Hepatitis B||6 weeks||n/a||n/a|
|Hepatitis C||8-9 weeks||Yes||3 months after first test|
|HIV (antibody test)||1-3 months||n/a||n/a|
|HIV (RNA test)||9-11 days||n/a||n/a|
|Oral herpes||4-6 weeks||n/a||n/a|
|Gential herpes||4-6 weeks||n/a||n/a|
There are a few different types of at-home STD tests. Individuals can get kits that test for a single STD; a few common STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis; or a comprehensive panel of common and more rare STDs.
A user’s individual needs will determine which type of at-home STD test is right for them. If a user knows they have been exposed to a specific STD, they may only need a test that screens for that particular infection. Meanwhile, if a user has not had a comprehensive STD screening in awhile, it may be beneficial for them to use a 8- or 10-test panel to check for all possible infections they could have been exposed to since their last screening.
The main perk of at home STD tests is convenience. Users do not have to schedule an appointment or even leave their house to collect their samples and get their results. Most companies offer quick turnaround times, including shipping the kits to customers, and getting them their lab results, so this is an ideal solution for anyone looking to know their status quickly.
Because these tests are completed in the privacy of one’s own home, they are also discreet. Test kits usually come in unmarked packaging, and customers do not need to worry about discussing potentially uncomfortable or embarrassing information with their regular doctor.
No, your test kit should come with all of the supplies you need to complete your at-home STD test. Depending on the test, supplies may include lancets, swabs, pipettes, cups, tubes for transporting samples, alcohol swabs for sterilizing, gauze and bandages, and biohazard bags for storing and shipping samples. When you receive your at-home test kit, take a moment to verify you have everything you need before proceeding with the test.
For sexually active adults, regular STD testing is one of the most important ways to protect your health, and the health of your sexual partners.
Most STDs are treatable or curable, but only if they are caught in the early stages of infection. The challenge is in their early stages, many STDs have no symptoms, or hard-to-detect symptoms. Therefore, the only way to diagnose an STD early enough to effectively treat it is by getting tested regularly.
Leaving STDs untreated can result in numerous health problems and long-term consequences. You also run the risk of transmitting the disease to other partners if you do not get the necessary treatment.
If you receive a positive result, the first thing to do is remain calm. Although getting a positive test result can be scary, it’s important to remember that most STDs are treatable, and many of them can be cured completely with antibiotics or other simple treatment measures. Knowing that you have an STD is the first step in getting the proper care.
Many at-home testing services will connect users who test positive with a physician or nurse who can offer support and guidance for next steps. If you have an infection like chlamydia or gonorrhea that is treatable with prescription antibiotics, the physician you speak to may be able to provide that prescription to you, which you can get filled at your local pharmacy.
If you’re unable to speak to a healthcare practitioner through the testing service, you should seek professional care immediately, whether through a primary care physician or in-person STD clinic. This will ensure that you receive the proper care to address your infection.
It is always recommended that you share any positive STD test results with your primary care physician, so they have a complete picture of your health, and can ensure that any further testing or follow-up care needs are handled responsibly.
Privacy is mandated by U.S. healthcare law, and every company that handles a patient’s medical information is required to protect confidentiality and prevent the transfer of information to third parties without consent. The results of an STD test are sensitive for most patients, and a reliable company should disclose on its website how it protects personally identifying information.
Kits are generally packed in such a way that their contents are hard to detect, and return packaging is similarly discreet. You should feel free to discuss testing, or the results of your test, with your doctor, but as a rule there’s no requirement to do so to get results from an at-home test.