Many people have concerns regarding whether or not the STD test they’re taking is accurate or not. The process might seem a little daunting or uncomfortable, but a good clinic offering free STD testing in Los Angeles will help make the process a little smoother. STD Free Los Angeles understands that this might be a new or difficult process for you, so we make it our goal to keep you comfortable, and deliver accurate results. 

Accurate STD test results

If you receive inaccurate test results, the entire purpose of getting tested seems null and void, so having accurate test results is essential. If you test negative for an STD you actually do have, you risk not only making yourself sick but transmitting it to other partners as well. On the flip side, a false positive can also have you worried, embarrassed, and taking unnecessary medication, which could come along with side effects. There are a few ways to ensure you’re taking the most accurate STD test, the first is to get free STD testing in Los Angeles from somewhere you trust.   

Lab Test vs. Testing Kits

Accuracy of Testing Kits

The positive side of home testing kits is that you get privacy and convenience, however, there are some questions about the accuracy of the results. STD testing kits are appealing because you can take them in the privacy of your own home and simply mail them in for the results.  You don’t have to deal with uncomfortable conversations with a doctor and have more control over the process. 

This all sounds great, right? Well, the issue here is that the kits are often less accurate than a physical test performed by a healthcare professional at a lab or clinic. Most of this comes from user inexperience and error. If the collection isn’t done correctly by you (it’s easy to mess up, you probably haven’t done it before), when it is mailed in, it is highly likely that you will receive a false result. 

Due to these reasons, among others, there are problems that come from at-home STD testing kits and are commonly responsible for false-negative test results. And you might have chosen an at-home test for privacy, but it could have the opposite outcome if someone you live with finds the box! It’s also a much slower process because you have to wait at the post office to get your results back. This could prolong an STD health issue for you. 

Accuracy of Lab Testing

Lab testing is the most accurate way to get free STD testing in Los Angeles. The first reason that lab testing by a healthcare professional is more accurate is that there is less likeliness of user error.  When you get tested in a medical environment or lab, you also significantly lower your risk of a contaminated or damaged sample, which could also cause false results. The technicians in the lab are trained and skilled, meanig they know the proper protocol for handling samples, and it is highly unlikely that contamination will occur. 

It may feel like getting your STD test done in the lab would throw all privacy out the window, but that’s not necessarily the case! The technician taking your sample most likely does not know you, or what you’re being tested for, only that they are collecting samples. So there is no need to be embarrassed, or worry about someone you know discovering you are being tested. 

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The varying accuracy of testing methods

If we look further than the mixed accuracy results from at-home tests, you have to remember that the method of sample collection will also affect the results. 

Accuracy of blood tests for STDs

Blood testing is among the most common forms of testing for STDs.  Blood tests for STDs are used to diagnose genital herpes, syphilis, hepatitis, and HIV. These tests function by evaluating your immune system’s reaction to the infection. If antibodies for one of the infections are identified in your blood, that indicates that the infection is either in your system currently or has been at some point.  

Accuracy of swab testing for STDs

You can also receive a swab test to determine if you have an STD or not. Swabbing is typically done in the mouth or rectum to test for gonorrhea or chlamydia, the two STDs that are often missed by other testing methods.  The swab method testing is mostly thought of as the least comfortable test to ensure STDs. You really only need to do this test if you are specifically concerned you might have contracted gonorrhea or chlamydia. Swab testing can be done at home, or in a lab by a medical provider. Accuracy of urine tests for STDs

Another method for STD testing is urine testing. Urine tests a typically used to diagnose bacterial infections, like gonorrhea or chlamydia. They do this by checking for the presence of bacteria in the urine sample. Urine tests are mostly accurate, but ot quite as accurate as a urethral or cervical sample collected by a medical doctor. If you’re not able to do that, the urine test is a close second for accuracy. 

Like the other methods mentioned, urine tests for STDs also have the potential for user error and inaccuracy. 

Are the tests accurate enough?

There have been many different testing methods mentioned in this article for STD testing, and many potentials for error as well. The key takeaway of this information is that inaccurate results from an STD test are rare, but the safest bet is to get your testing done by a medical professional in a clean lab environment. Contact STD Free Los Angeles, or come in today to get a safe and accurate STD test.

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