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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may not be the most comfortable topic to discuss, but if you’re sexually active (and not in a long-term monogamous relationship), the possibility of dealing with an STI is high.

The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that 1 in 5 people in the United States has an STI, and that in 2018 there were 68 million total STIs. Yikes.

The good news is that it’s never been easier to get tested for an STI. Between at-home, lab-based, and traditional doctor’s clinic testing, screenings are fast, simple, and private. Plus, you can get STI meds online.

With so many options out there, we did the work of narrowing down the best of the bunch.

After browsing the reviews and comparing the features, we’ve compiled a list of the best STI testing options at home and away from home. We used the following criteria to make our list:

  • price
  • accuracy
  • convenience
  • comprehensiveness
  • medical support
  • wait time
  • self-collection or in person at the lab
  • reputation

Regular testing should be safe and accessible whenever you need it. These at-home options are accurate and convenient.

Best for budget: HealthLabs

  • Type: lab-based testing
  • Cost: $45–$298
  • Wait time: 2–4 days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes type 1 and 2, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis

HealthLabs is discreet and confidential, and a great choice for those on a budget. They boast “fast, private, and affordable lab testing,” and starting at $45 for an individual test or $99 for a two-test panel, you really can’t beat the value.

Beyond that, they offer a comprehensive panel at $139, and the ultimate panel complete with early HIV detection is $298. You can use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for these tests, but even without insurance, they’re reasonably priced, especially since you can select individual tests.

Best for couples: MyLAB Box

  • Type: self–collection
  • Cost: $79–$499
  • Wait time: 2–5 days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, HPV, mycoplasma, syphilis, and trichomoniasis

MyLAB Box offers a variety of at-home lab tests for an extensive list of STIs. Better yet, they offer a couple’s box so partners can discreetly find answers together, rather than visiting a doctor’s office separately.

MyLAB Box also provides all-inclusive testing, meaning it includes instruments for urine collection, blood testing, and swabs for mouth and rectum in addition to the traditional vaginal swab.

If you do happen to test positive, physician consults are available to provide couples with the medical support they need.

Best for medical support: LetsGetChecked

  • Type: self-collection
  • Cost: $99–$349
  • Wait time: 2–5 days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, mycoplasma, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and ureaplasma

LetsGetChecked provides you with comprehensive and accessible medical support if you test positive for an STI. Unlike other at-home testing services that offer physician consultation only if desired, with Let’sGetChecked, a member of the nursing team will call you to discuss your results and your treatment options if you test positive.

Furthermore, you can get your hands on a kit easily at CVS pharmacies, so you can also chat with a pharmacist there if needed. The certainty of medical assistance and advice paired with the accessibility of a local pharmacy option makes LetsGetChecked a deserving winner of this category.

Best for self-collection: Nurx

  • Type: self-collection
  • Cost: $150–$220
  • Wait time: within 7 days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis

Nurx attempts to combat the potential for testing inaccuracies by collecting swabs from multiple areas of the body, such as the mouth or throat, rectum, and vagina. They may also collect urine and blood samples.

Nurx is covered by insurance, but you do have to pay for shipping both ways, as well as for a medical consultation if you’d like one. If you prefer to go through the STI testing experience completely from the comfort of your own home and you have no problem collecting your own bodily fluids, Nurx is the way to go.

Best for discretion: Priority STD

  • Type: lab-based testing
  • Cost: $129–$198
  • Wait time: 1–3 days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis

Priority STD is well-known for providing STI tests that are quick, discreet, and accurate. What’s even better is that you can get same-day results and medications if you need them.

With Priority STD, the entire process is extremely private, as you can order tests over the phone or online, and you can view results online or discuss them with a healthcare professional. Your results remain between you and Priority STD as they don’t share your info or results with your primary care physician.

Best for fast results: STDCheck

  • Type: lab-based testing
  • Cost: $24–$349
  • Wait time: 1–2 days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis (A, B, and C), HIV, herpes type 1 and 2, and syphilis

STDCheck offers somewhat of a hybrid experience, as you can order your test at home, via phone or online, and then you go to a lab to provide your sample.

The quick turnaround time paired with the high accuracy of this option makes it a sound choice for anyone feeling anxious about the whole STI situation. It’s a speedy process with even quicker results, and your information is always confidential.

You can have individual tests as well as a fully comprehensive screening, including an early detection HIV screening. The range of tests available from STDCheck plus the quick delivery of results should give you peace of mind in a potentially stressful time.

Best for first-timers: PersonaLabs

  • Type: lab-based testing
  • Cost: $46–$522
  • Wait time: 2–10 days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, Epstein-Barr virus, gonorrhea, HIV, HIV-related, Hepatitis A, B & C, herpesvirus, human t-cell lymphotropic virus, trichomoniasis, syphilis

PersonaLabs testing is pretty straightforward and offers a wide range of testing options, both individual and comprehensive.

You also have access to medical support in the form of doctor’s consultations, treatments, and even prescriptions. The extensive list of STIs tested for, as well as the access to medical help makes this a great option if this is your first time getting an STI test.

Best overall: EverlyWell

  • Type: self-collection
  • Cost: $49–$149
  • Wait time: within days
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis

EverlyWell seems to check all the boxes as an at-home option that tests for the most common STIs. Self-collection is user-friendly, as you can use a finger-prick test or a vaginal swab. The price point, including prepaid shipping, also makes it budget-friendly.

EverlyWell is also perhaps the most discreet at-home STI testing option, as everything is done in the comfort of your own home, and even your results are fully digital.

What rounds out EverlyWell as the best overall, however, is their medical support on top of all the other perks. If you get positive results, you’re connected with their own private physician network who will walk you through any questions and treatment options. Overall EverlyWell takes the cake in the STI testing race.

If you’re more comfortable physically going into a lab and getting assistance with every step of the STI testing process, here are your best options:

CVS: CVS Pharmacy MinuteClinic

  • Cost: $99-$139
  • STIs tested: You can be tested comprehensively for all STIs at the CVS MinuteClinic.

While the MinuteClinic at CVS conducts STI testing, you must be at least 18 years old, and you can’t be pregnant.

You’ll need to chat with the on-duty staff about your sexual history and any symptoms you have. They can then decide what type of samples to take, or physical examinations to perform. After your appointment, you’ll discuss appropriate treatment options for any positive test results. You’ll likely get some info on sexual health and safety.

If you test positive for a potentially chronic condition, like HIV, they may refer you to another health care provider for counseling and ongoing care.

The CVS MinuteClinic accepts most insurances, and perhaps most convenient of all, you do not need an appointment to be seen, though you may still make an appointment if you’d like.

Walgreens: Walgreens Healthcare Clinic

  • Cost: Information not specified on the website.
  • STIs tested: You can be tested comprehensively for all STIs at the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic.

To be tested for STIs at the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, you must be at least 18 years old. They accept most insurances, and you can walk in or make an appointment.

When you’re seen at the Healthcare Clinic for STI testing, a provider will first discuss your STI risk, exposure, history, and any symptoms you have. They may collect a urine or blood sample, or both to determine your status.

Once they have your results, the healthcare provider goes over treatment options and some education on safe sex practices. They’ll also make any follow-up appointments, treatment, or referrals for more extensive testing.

*As of this writing, only locations in Arizona are performing STI testing. However, the plan is for all Walgreens Healthcare Clinic locations to provide the service as soon as they can roll it out.

Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood testing, treatment, and vaccines

  • Cost: Information not specified on the website.
  • STIs tested: chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, trichomoniasis

If you’re looking for the closest thing to an anonymous clinic visit, Planned Parenthood may be right for you. They have a reputation for being open-minded and nonjudgmental. Even though you’re being seen in person, you can rest assured knowing the staff is there to help, and your information is always kept confidential.

Furthermore, Planned Parenthood offers a whole gamut of treatment options. They also provide several vaccines for STIs, so you can even get vaccinated to decrease your risk proactively. You have to make an appointment but it’s fast and straightforward either online or over the phone. They accept most insurances.

According to the CDC, you should be tested for STIs if you’re:

  • Anyone age 13–64 and sexually active: should have at least one HIV test
  • A sexually active woman: test for gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • Pregnant people: test for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B
  • Sexually active gay or bisexual man: check for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea
  • Having sex without a condom or other barrier method: have annual HIV tests
  • Shared injection drug equipment: have annual HIV tests

Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, it’s still recommended that you get checked. Better safe than sorry! There’s nothing to lose as STI tests are safe, almost always covered by insurance, and they provide peace-of-mind for you and your sexual partners.

When you’re starting out on your STI testing journey, consider the following questions:

  • Why are you testing? Is it out of curiosity, or because you’re experiencing symptoms, believe you came into contact with an STI, a recent or current partner tested positive, etc?
  • Have you had unprotected sex or experienced a condom, or another barrier method, malfunction?
  • Do you have any symptoms?
  • Are you about to have sex with a new partner?
  • Are you checking to see if a prior STI has cleared up?
  • Would you like to stop using condoms or barrier methods with your current partner?
  • When was the last time you had an in-person test?

Once you’re ready to start actively searching for an STI test, consider:

  • How much does it cost?
  • What STIs does it test for?
  • How long does it take to get results?
  • Does it offer any medical consultation and/or treatment options?
  • How accurate is it?

You may be able to find a test that checks all of your boxes. If not, you’ll want to decide what features are most important to you before making your selection.

Not all tests are created equal, however, and in some situations, you’re better off to bite the proverbial bullet and visit a doctor — think physical symptoms. It’s also a good idea if you’re certain you’ve come into contact with an STI even if you don’t have symptoms.

STI sample collection may include one or all of the following:

  • urine test
  • blood test
  • vaginal, cervical, urethral, throat, or possibly rectal swabs
  • physical examination

If you’d prefer to have in-person support through the entire testing process, opt for clinic testing. As with testing kits, there are some considerations, including:

  • Do they have a good reputation?
  • Are they a recognized name with a website?
  • Who staffs the clinic?
  • What tests do they offer?

If you need help finding a place for STI testing, contact your local health department. Check out this CDC guide for deets.

For peeps with cervixes, note that while PAP smears are not a type of STI test, they test for early signs of cervical or anal cancers caused by HPV. People with cervixes should have regular PAPs at a clinic from age 21.

If you’re experiencing any physical symptoms of an STI or any unusual — er, um — activity in your nether region, you need to see a doctor. They can often tell you right away whether or not there’s anything to worry about and prescribe medication if needed. There’s no waiting. You can start taking the meds immediately, treat the infection, and say goodbye to that itch or ooze.

Likewise, if you’ve come into direct sexual contact with someone with a confirmed STI, you need to see a doctor — symptoms or no.

Many STIs don’t manifest any symptoms, but you can still spread asymptomatic STIs easily. The danger is that untreated STIs can lead to grim health consequences like infertility, cancer, AIDS, organ damage, neurological conditions, and even death. Just because you can’t see or feel an infection doesn’t mean one isn’t there. Do yourself a favor and go see the doc.

If you’re sexually active, it’s a good idea to have regular STI checks, no matter your situation. Testing keeps you and your partners safe and helps prevent the spread of infections. Plus, if you’ve contracted an STI, the earlier you seek treatment, the better.

The good news is that it’s never been easier to get tested for STIs. There are a variety of testing kits, both at-home and in-person, ranging in cost and comprehensiveness. These options are confidential and convenient, especially if you don’t fancy going for a test at the doctor’s office.

Lastly, even if it’s not the most exciting prospect, please see a medical professional if you’re experiencing any potential STI symptoms, or if you know you’ve been exposed to an STI during sex. Better safe than sorry.