There are many different options for you to get an STD test. Some are free, some cost money, some might be covered by insurance. All tests are confidential, but none are anonymous unless you follow the steps in our guide to protect your anonymity. If you’re sexually active, you should make STD testing a part of your regular check-ups. All sexually-active adults should get tested for STDs at least once a year, often during a routine physical exam. People in high-risk groups for STDs, such as men who have sex with men, should get tested every three to six months.
If you have symptoms you believe might be caused by a sexually-transmitted disease, you can make an appointment with your primary care physician and have an STD test. Most STD tests can be performed in the doctor’s office, and your doctor might want to examine your genitals and swab any sores you have to send them to the lab. However, some doctors might send you to a testing lab to provide a urine or blood sample.
Many doctors will communicate negative test results to you over the phone or even on your voicemail. However, most doctors require you to come back to the office and speak to them in person if your STD test results are positive. The doctor will discuss treatment options with you, and might be able to administer treatment onsite or provide you with a prescription for antibiotics that should cure your infection. In some cases, if the doctor believes you have an infection such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, he might treat you in the office or send you home with a prescription, even before the lab results are available.
Your insurance coverage for a visit to the doctor because of an STD or a prescription from the doctor to treat an STD should be covered the same as any other ailment.
Test Result Disclosure
If you test positive for an STD, the test results become part of your permanent medical record. Your doctor is required by law to send your name, birth date and other personal information to the state health department. Your doctor does not have to inform you that she’s providing your information to the government because it’s required by law. The state health department will assign your case to a specialist, and depending on the STD you have, the specialist might call you or visit you at home to discuss how to notify your sexual partners that you have an STD. If your insurance paid for the visit, the insurance company might be provided with a copy of the test results.
Most public and private health clinics offer STD testing. Many of the clinics provide free testing and some provide it at a low cost, depending on your ability to pay. You can use this tool from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to locate a clinic near you and to discover the STD testing services they provide.
Any health care professional who tests you for sexually-transmitted diseases is obligated by law to report you to the state health department if you test positive for an STD. While clinics don’t offer anonymous STD testing, some clinics do offer anonymous HIV testing.
There are a number of online test labs that offer STD testing for a fee. We recommend you use this lab because we believe it offers the most protection of your identity. If you follow the instructions in our guide to anonymous testing, you can get a truly anonymous STD test at an online test lab, get your results via email and speak to a doctor over the phone about treatment if your results are positive.