STD STI testing at home vs lab testing for sexual health

How Accurate Are At-Home STD Tests?

August 01, 2019

We're often asked about how accurate our STD test kits are for use at home.

Our STD or STI tests are rapid-screen tests designed to do privately at home, giving you fast results within 15 minutes. 

They are 98-99% accurate in the detection of sexually transmitted infections. 

The accuracy of STD tests are based on terms called "Specificity" and "Sensitivity".

Specificity vs Sensitivity
Each of our tests has a value for Specificity and Sensitivity. These values tell you how accurate an STD test is in giving a negative or positive result. 

Basically, Specificity = true negative, and Sensitivity = true positive.

We've provided this quick-reference table below to explain the accuracy of each of our STD tests. Read on for an explanation of what the terms mean in plain English.

Specificity and Sensitivity of STD or STI sexual health tests for use at home.

What do Specificity and Sensitivity mean?

Specificity
 is basically a true negative, meaning how accurate a negative test result is (a result that says you don't have the infection). 

For example, our Syphilis test has a specificity of 98%. If you used this test and got a negative result, the negative result would be 98% accurate. Another way to think of it is 1-in-50 tests can give a false negative (you tested negative, but you do have the infection).

Sensitivity is basically a true positive, meaning how accurate a positive test result is (a result that says you do have the infection). 

For example, our Gonorrhea test has a sensitivity of 98.8%. If you used this test and got a positive result, the positive result would be 98.8% accurate. Another way to think of it is 1-in-83 tests can give a false positive (you tested positive, but you do not actually have the infection).

How does this compare with lab tests?
Most lab-based tests are considered 99.9% accurate. However, like anything in life, nothing is 100% accurate.  

What if I'm worried about an STD test result?
If you get a negative result but have symptoms, or if you're just worried, it's best to talk with your doctor or a Well Revolution doctor.

If you test positive, the doctor will decide if treatment is appropriate for you, or if a follow-up lab test is needed.

Either way, you've done the right thing by testing in the first place. To be safe, it's recommended to test every 6 months.

Reach out to us any time if you have more questions :)



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