Every year, millions of Americans are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI).
While some STDs and STIs may be asymptomatic, they can be serious if left untreated. Sexual active adults should consider getting regular STI testing as part of your routine health plan.
Getting tested can be confusing and sometimes expensive, especially without health insurance. In this article, I’ll go over the costs of getting an STI test from various providers without insurance.
I’ll outline some potential additional costs with STI testing, and tell you if you can be tested at home. I’ll talk about symptoms of some STIs, the most common infections, and when you should get tested.
Cost of STI and STD Testing Without Insurance
There are a variety of ways to get STD testing without insurance, from labs to at-home tests.
The options vary in price depending on the source and the specific test.
Below is a breakdown of common sources for STD testing and the average cost of the service.
|Test Source:||Cost:||What test is for:|
|Fastmed||$149 to $399||Options for Rapid HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis|
|CityMD||$390||Rapid HIV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis B and C, Herpes, Syphilis, Trichomonas|
|Planned Parenthood||$130 to $270 depending on location & income (they bill on a sliding scale)||Chlamydia, Genital Warts, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis|
|QuestDirect||$29 to $379||Options for Syphilis test, HIV tests, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia as individual tests. Full STD panel option for $379.|
|LetsGet Checked||$99 to $249||Basic option for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Complete option includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, HIV, syphilis, gardnerella, mycoplasma, ureaplasma|
|Mylab Box||$59 to $299||Options for rapid UTI testing, Hepatitis B & C, HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, Mycoplasma Genitalium, HPV.|
|Everlywell||$149||Measures Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis C, HIV, Syphilis, HSV-2 & Trichomoniasis|
Free and low-cost testing options are also available, depending on where you live. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a database of locations that you can search by your zip code at the GetTested site.
Additional Costs Associated With STD Testing
There are often unforeseen additional costs that can occur with an STD screening.
These include office visit costs, lab fees, and treatments you may need after reviewing your results. These can range from $40-$390.
Can You Get an STD Test at Home?
Yes. There are a variety of home STD testing kits available on the market.
With this type of test, the individual is responsible for taking the sample themselves, which may be by a genital swab or a finger prick for a blood sample, depending on test type.
Using a special kit, you can collect urine or swab your genitals and then send your sample(s) to a lab for diagnostic testing. Some common at-home STD test vendors include Everlywell, Mylab Box, and LetsGetChecked.
Are they accurate?
In general, at-home tests are considered accurate. Some at-home STD tests say they’re about 92% accurate or better, which is similar to lab test results.
In populations that otherwise might not go for testing at all, do not have the option of clinical testing, or who refuse a clinical examination, self-collected screening is considered a good alternative.
At-home tests are also known for generating a higher-than-average rate of false-positive test results.
If you use an at-home kit and test positively for an STD (or test negative but still believe you have cause for concern), call your doctor or healthcare provider to obtain confirmatory testing and, if needed, to obtain treatment.
It is important that you read and follow the directions carefully to make sure you collect the sample correctly.
Symptoms of STDs
Depending on the type of STD, there are a variety of symptoms that you may experience. They range from mild to severe.
They also can vary depending on the gender of the individual patient. Remember, sometimes a person can be infected with an STD and show no symptoms.
Some symptoms of common STDs include:
- Painful urination
- Lower abdominal pain
- Vaginal discharge in women, discharge from the penis in men
- Pain during sexual intercourse in women
- Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
- Anal itching
- Several warts close together that take on a cauliflower shape
- Itching or discomfort in your genital area
- Bleeding with intercourse
- Bleeding between periods in women
- Testicular pain in men
When to Get Tested
If you are sexually active, especially with multiple sexual partners, routine testing may be a good idea, regardless of whether you’re presenting symptoms.
According to the CDC, testing should be done annually, or every 3-5 months for those engaging in riskier behaviors.
Most Common STDs
There are a variety of STDs, but some of the most common include:
- Human papillomaviruses (HPV)
- Genital Herpes
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
If you receive positive test results, it is important to seek medical attention. Certain STDs, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
Early detection can prevent you from spreading it to others, and may also prevent serious complications.
If insurance is a concern, at-home tests can be helpful options, or there are a variety of local clinics that may offer services at a discounted price. Testing can even be free.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a database of locations with low-cost or free testing that you can search by your zip code at the GetTested site.
Students attending universities can often access inexpensive STD testing on their campuses.
And your local Planned Parenthood center, where a variety of services to help you care for your sexual health are offered, usually prices STD testing on a sliding scale based on your monthly income.
Frequently Asked Questions
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Find Free, Fast, and Confidential Testing Near You. (2021).
The Affordability of Providing Sexually Transmitted Disease Services at a Safety-net Clinic. (2018).
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). (2016).
Self-Collected versus Clinician-Collected Sampling for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Screening: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. (2015).