In-home medical tests such as pregnancy tests are generally considered to be very affordable and readily available at most grocery stores and pharmacies. In-home STD testing is a somewhat newer concept but most experts believe that you can now get reasonably accurate results from home based STD testing kits. However, with comprehensive FDA-approved testing kits costing upwards of a few hundred dollars, they are still not cheap enough to be recommended in every situation. With the widespread availability of home STD testing kits in and around pharmacies in our local areas of Arlington, Medford, Somerville, Belmont, Lexington and greater Boston areas, we believe that there are no major barriers (other than a few we explain below) which prevent their use.
After helping hundreds of STD patients recover we believe that such in home test are not useful in every situation. Don’t get us wrong. Like most medical practitioners, we genuinely believe that empowering people to simply “know" more about their health is a wonderful thing. We fully support the use of affordable in-home medical tests in certain instances including testing for pregnancy, blood glucose levels and blood pressure levels. In this article we briefly discuss some of the misconceptions regarding in-home STD testing kits and we hope that after reading this you will reconsider our clinic as an affordable option for testing and treatment.
The biggest myth surrounding a doctor’s visit related to STD testing and treatment, by far, is that of cost. This comes as a massive surprise for most people simply because we are constantly bombarded with news about the rising cost of healthcare and ridiculous bills from ER visits. All the negative coverage doesn’t help highlight the fact that walk-in urgent care clinics like ours offer very affordable rates to the general public for medical services. A board certified doctor’s consultation, full medical exam, history etc. doesn’t even cost a hundred dollars in most urgent care clinics such as ours. Remember that when it comes to non-emergency care, patients have a choice. They can call around to check prices in nearby clinics and thus it makes sure that we keep our prices as low as possible.
In fact, we at AFC Urgent Care Arlington MA are so confident in our ability to provide affordable healthcare services to our community that we publicly list all our prices on everything from a doctor’s consultation to the individual test that we perform. Our prices make visiting a doctor a very compelling choice when compared against home STD testing kits that can cost hundreds of dollars. Many of our patients themselves have pointed out that the price difference between some of the higher quality FDA approved home testing kits in the market and a doctors consultation at our clinic plus lab quality testing is simply not enough to justify any risks they need to take.
And the risks of missing something important are very real when viewing healthcare as a DIY project. Consulting a board certified physician with your individual concerns along with a full examination and medical history is perhaps the biggest piece of mind many of our patients can buy. Our staff sees tens of patients every day and they have seen everything from major complications to minor concerns that can make individuals uncomfortable. It’s a no-brainer that having that extra piece of mind of a professionals ruling out other major concerns is worth any marginal difference in price.
Once again we understand this more than anyone. STDs can seem like a difficult topic to discuss. The number one hurdle to overcome for patients is simply talking to us without fear. Whether it is the fear of being judged, labeled careless or simply the fear of the unknown, it prevents patients from seeking help when they need it the most.
The allure of doing everything in the privacy of your own home might look unbeatable in this regard BUT, and this may sound counter intuitive once again, most of our patients are genuinely glad they overcame that fear. Think about this for a moment. Many patients with STD related concerns can feel that they have no one to talk to without judgment. They feel alone and isolated. Additional stress and anxiety builds up by them repeatedly Googling newer and potentially unrelated symptoms. In that situation, not only does one need an expert but also friend to say “you’re going to be okay." No home STD kit can do that.
That is precisely why our doctors and nurses are always on your side when you need support. Like the best of friends we aim to get straight to helping you out, without making you feel that you messed up in any way. Your health and well being are what matter the most to us which is why we operate a judgment free facility where you can walk in anonymously and get tested/treated any time we are open – without prior appointment. We’re proud to be one of the most well rated STD testing clinic and urgent care facility in our areas of Arlington, Medford, Somerville, Belmont, Lexington around Boston, and hundreds of unsolicited Google Reviews attest to how well we have serve members of our community.
All you have to do is to overcome that initial fear and walk in. We’ll take care of the rest and make sure to eliminate any unease you may have.
Reliability and Followup
This is where things get extremely difficult when comparing in-home STD testing and a doctor’s visit and professional lab quality testing. Most people who have a friend or family member working as a medical professional know very well how hard they train and then work to serve their community. Mistakes are costly and not tolerated in healthcare especially when they are in routine tasks. When talking about STD testing kits, we have to make many assumptions about kits being used correctly and precisely as the manufacturer intended. We then have to assume that a self-testing kit is “easy" to use and that a person is confident about which one to use, has read the complete fine print about it (hopefully more than a YouTube video review), read the associated procedures, and is absolutely sure that s/he can follow procedures (take blood samples etc.) without causing additional harm. Even if we assume all of the above, lab testing still remains more reliable and safer due to concerns of quality of testing equipment, sterility and contamination.
Most importantly people buying in-home STD kits often don’t consider what they intend to do with the results if, just in case, they test positive for an infection. Clearly searching online for a tutorial to manufacture a home remedy is not advisable. Pharmacists simply cannot dispense medicine without a doctor’s prescription no matter what the results say. In addition, simply taking a print out of the in-home results to a doctor is likely not going to save the cost of actual lab tests that most doctors are required to perform as per their protocols. In such cases any savings on a costly home STD testing kit (remember that some FDA approved kits aren’t as cheap as dollar-store pregnancy tests) is completely negated by the subsequent cost of lab re-testing, the discomfort/delay in treatment and the risk of developing complications during the wait.
Your health. Your Decision.
At the end of the day it all comes down to your choice. We feel that for most patients who are considering these kits, the major issues stopping them from seeking professional medical care with lab quality results are pricing and/or anxiety associated with walking into a doctor’s office. DIY can be cheap when it comes to household repairs but ill advised in health-care especially when the tests alone cost so much. STD testing kits do exactly what they advertise – they are tests – and somewhat expensive tests for that matter. They are not advice, treatment, professional oversight, guidance or support when you need these things the most.
If you live in our local area of Arlington, Medford, Somerville, Belmont, Lexington or others near/around Boston, and are considering purchasing a home testing kit, we welcome you to compare our pricing and read more about our STD testing and treatment services. You can also read our reviews to see what other have to say about our clinic and decide what the right course of action is for you.