Can I Get Tested For Stds Without My Parents Knowing – You can order an STD test online, but should you? Staffing – Health News It sounds very simple. order a kit online, get an STD test in the privacy of your own home, and send it back. But deciding what to test and who to test isn’t easy.
The STD testing kit from MyLAB Box allows users to collect samples at home and send them to the company. MyLAB Box hide title
Can I Get Tested For Stds Without My Parents Knowing
The STD testing kit from MyLAB Box allows users to collect samples at home and send them to the company.
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America is losing the fight against sexually transmitted infections. Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis hit record highs in 2015. Tens of thousands of people become infected with HIV each year in the United States, and oral cancer caused by the human papillomavirus is on the rise.
So startups have sprung up online to help service what they see as unmet demand for STD testing. One advertises that you can “get the sex deal” by ordering.
The question is whether these companies can survive, at least one has left the market before its product even launched, and whether the services they offer get the right test to the right people.
While encouraging people to get tested is a pretty straightforward public health message, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do, said Kevin Ault, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Kansas City University Medical Center.
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“You have to make an appointment with the doctor, go to the doctor, give the sample to the doctor, the doctor sends it to the lab, you wait for the results, then you wait for the doctor to come; call you,” Ault said. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people in certain risk groups have it a few times a year.
“The biggest advantage of home testing in general is that if you catch HIV or chlamydia early, you can change the course of the disease naturally,” says Ault.
There are several options to make the process easier. So far, only one approved test has provided quick results at home, and that is for HIV. The startups hope the ability to collect samples at home will encourage enough people to get tested.
“The concept of enabling a self-sampling approach to STDs is really going to be the future of us in terms of diagnostic testing,” said Jennifer Smith, professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings Global School. Public Health in Chapel Hill. Hill also consulted with myLAB Box, one of the companies that offer this service. “Bringing actual tests to patients will not only increase access and increase acceptance, but also reduce unnecessary medical visits,” said Smith.
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A sobering report from the CDC last October showed just how many new approaches are needed to fight the soaring infection rate. More than 1.5 million people contracted chlamydia in 2015, an increase of 5.9 percent from the previous year. Likewise gonorrhea cases increased 12.8 percent to almost 400,000 cases. About 24,000 new cases of primary and secondary syphilis (the two most infectious stages of the disease) increased by 19 percent.
In addition to the initial symptoms that some STDs can cause, such as painful urination, discharge, bleeding, swelling, or pain, long-term symptoms in people who don’t get treatment can be serious. Untreated gonorrhea, for example, can cause infertility and long-term pelvic or abdominal pain in both men and women, as well as ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal. If syphilis is left untreated, it can damage the brain, eyes, and nervous system, which can cause severe headaches, poor muscle coordination, paralysis, numbness, dementia, or blindness. In rare cases, syphilis can cause death 10 to 30 years after infection.
PMS also has consequences for the next generation. Cases of congenital syphilis, which can cause severe illness and stillbirth, increased 38 percent in infants between 2012 and 2014, according to the CDC, although women overall did not account for 10 percent of new infections.
New cases of HIV infection are steadily declining, but there were still more than 39,500 new cases in 2015. And while HPV, the most commonly transmitted STD, goes away on its own in most people, it still causes about 31,500 new cancers each year.
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“When something affects millions of people, even a low level of serious outcome translates to a lot of people,” said University of Washington H. Field Hunter professor emeritus.
Handsfield, currently a scientific adviser to the American Sexual Health Association, has spent a quarter of a century directing STD control programs for the Seattle Department of Public Health and is now a consultant to the CDC. “We have an ongoing and important public health concern with people living with HIV and with cervical cancer and other HPV-associated cancers. The actual number of cancers is small, but it’s a big problem for everyone.”
The idea of online STD testing is not new, but until recently most services were localized, testing options were limited, or still required a visit to a laboratory or pharmacy.
For example, residents of Maryland, Washington, and Alaska can request that a kit be mailed to them with self-administration instructions and genital and/or rectal swabs, but only for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Planned Parenthood has started offering similar services, but only for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and only in Idaho, Minnesota, and Washington. More than a dozen commercial companies nationwide allow consumers to order STI test kits for other infections online, but buyers will still have to visit a local lab to collect samples.
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Online businesses aim to offer more tests without customers having to go anywhere but the mailbox. Both business models are subscriptions or one-time orders. the consumer orders the test, receives it in the mail, takes blood, urine, genital and/or rectal samples, sends back the sample in a prepaid envelope, and waits for the results to be available for review online.
One company, GetTested, still owns the live website but has stopped operating, according to a spokesperson. Another, Matteli, appears to be out of work and has yet to respond to several attempts to request an interview. That leaves the myLAB box, which has refined its services and procedures since launching in December 2013 as managers learn what works and what doesn’t.
The CDC generally supports the idea of at-home STD testing, according to John Papp, a bacteriologist in the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention and author of the CDC’s laboratory testing recommendations for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
“From our public health perspective, we want people to have access,” Pope said. “The concept of greater accessibility, regardless of appearance, whether it’s a site or a van by the river, is always a good thing. But the regulatory clause must be maintained.”
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But there are few regulations for at-home online STD testing. The laboratory where the test is performed must meet the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment standards, and the test itself must be approved by the FDA if available. The test offered by MyLAB Box fulfills both requirements.
“There’s no FDA directive to collect it at home and send it to a lab,” Pope said. “Therefore, if the sample is collected correctly, regardless of the setting, the test may go well.”
Most tests only detect a part of the body. The other three, for hepatitis C, syphilis, and herpes simplex type II, test for antibodies that the body produces in response to infection. HIV tests look for the virus and antibodies. Handsfield said the test worked even with samples exposed to extreme temperatures, so having bloodstains and urine samples in a Florida mailbox in August would not affect the results.
“It’s a great idea, with one big caveat that it’s reaching the wrong people,” Handsfield said of the online service. “The highest infection rates are among people with little education or low income, in inner cities, or among red state rural children who are immersed in a world of methamphetamine.”
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He would like to see public health departments partner with online sites and subsidize costs to promote home self-testing to a wider population of low-income, high-risk people. The October CDC report, for example, found that children aged 15 to 24 years accounted for half of all gonorrhea cases and nearly two-thirds of all chlamydia cases. “These are not the same people who pay money to buy tests online,” said Handsfield.
MyLAB Box offers three price tiers: Safe Box for $189 (HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis); Uber Box for $269 (adds hepatitis C, herpes simplex type II and syphilis); and Total Box for $399 (adds HPV,
And ureaplasma plus rectal and throat tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea). Each test can also be purchased separately for $79.
But Gary Richwald, medical director and chief scientific officer of myLAB Box, says the company is reaching the right people. He said their positive test rates were on par or higher than what he had seen
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