Getting screened for a sexually transmitted disease is something that is often seen as embarrassing and stressful. There are many reasons why a person decides that he or she needs STD testing, and it’s important to receive these tests in a discreet, trustworthy setting.
Many people are uncomfortable with discussing sexual health with their primary care doctors, and there is still a stigma around visiting STD clinics. This is why so many people prefer to receive STD screenings through our private facilities in Austin.
A Private Service in Austin May Be Better Than Your Doctor
There are plenty of options for STD testing available in Austin, but there a number of reasons why opting for a private screening service like STDcheck is better than visiting a clinic or asking your doctor.
Your doctor may not be comfortable dealing with sexual issues.
In some cases, this may be a general discomfort around treating sexual health matters. However, there are many primary care physicians that simply don’t have the ability or equipment easily available to do a full STD panel. There are common tests that your doctor may be able to collect samples for, but many offices are not well-equipped to perform thorough testing.
Women who visit a gynecologist regularly may be able to get a wider battery of tests done more easily, but it is still often difficult to get a comprehensive STD panel.
There is no stigma or discomfort surrounding your testing.
Our labs are completely private and discreet, so you don’t have to worry about having a conversation with strangers about your sexual health concerns. All of our testings can be ordered online or over the phone. In addition, the labs we use test patients for a broad range of illnesses, so nobody will know what you’re there to be tested for.
Our providers are more knowledgeable about treatment regimens.
Because STD screening is our focus, we employ doctors who are up-to-date on the best, most current testing and treatment options for all sexually transmitted diseases. If your results come back positive for a test, you will be able to schedule a phone consultation with any of our doctors if you wish.
We employ board-certified medical experts from all fields of medicine to ensure that you get the most comprehensive care possible.
We’ll work with you to make the testing affordable.
Not all insurances cover STD tests, and many patients do not want to receive insurance billing that plainly announces what they’re being charged for. For this reason, STDcheck doesn’t accept traditional insurance coverage, but we do accept all of the payment options listed below:
- Debit and credit cards
- Cashier’s checks
- Money orders
- Health Savings Accounts
- Flex Spending Accounts
- Prepaid debit or gift cards
We also have a “pay later” option that allows you to receive testing before payment is made, but the results will not be released until your balance is resolved.
What You Can Be Tested For
Our Austin labs are able to perform a complete panel of STD tests, which includes all of the following screenings:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Herpes I, also called HSV-1 or oral herpes
- Herpes II, also called HSV-2 or genital herpes
- HIV 1 and 2 antibodies and antigens
In addition, if you’re concerned about an HIV diagnosis, our labs also offer an FDA-approved RNA early detection test. This test can be completed as soon as six days after exposure, and it’s able to conclusively determine if an HIV infection is present in as few as 10 days after exposure.
This screening is able to search for RNA, which is the genetic material that the HIV virus is composed of, instead of waiting for the presence of antibodies in the blood, which takes much longer to show up in a test. This is what makes it the most sensitive and accurate early detection test available.
Early detection of HIV is extremely important, and it can completely change the course of the disease if it is caught quickly.
How the Testing Process Works in Austin
The STDcheck process is simple and private so that you feel completely secure and comfortable throughout the entire procedure.
First, you can schedule your testing online or via telephone. We employ Care Advisors that are available round-the-clock to offer answers and assistance whenever you need it. You can order a full panel of tests, or you can choose specific ones according to your needs.
If you’re unsure of which tests you might need, there is an online questionnaire you can complete that will recommend the most relevant tests according to the information you give. Our Care Advisors can also help you decide which tests will be most helpful to you if you would prefer to speak to a real person about it.
You can pay over the phone or online, and all of the information you’ll need for your lab visit will be sent to your online account. We have over two dozen test centers located in the Austin area, so you can visit whichever location is most convenient for you. Simply bring along your coded paperwork so that the lab technician knows which samples to take.
In general, the testing takes only a few minutes, and then you are free to go about your day as usual. The labs don’t require separate payment or additional paperwork, and you can walk in at any point during the testing center’s hours of operation.
Finally, you’ll receive your results within 48 hours. They will be posted to your online account, and you will be able to speak with our Care Advisors via telephone if you have any additional questions or concerns.
If your results are positive, you can request a phone consultation with one of our doctors for treatment recommendations and, in some cases, necessary prescriptions. We will match you with a doctor that is able to offer advice and expertise based on your unique situation.
How Your Privacy is Protected
There is still an embarrassing stigma that surrounds STDs, and we understand that this can make seeking testing and treatment more difficult for many people. Because of this, we take extensive measures to maintain your privacy.
From the moment you navigate to our website, we use 128-bit encryption to secure all of your data. This is the same level of encryption that secure payment sites use.
We also use an HL-7 interface, which is the current industry standard for healthcare portal privacy. This means that any information you submit on our site is safe and protected.
The Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is an important policy that protects your healthcare information from fraud, abuse and unauthorized access. HIPAA gives you total power over who can and cannot access your information, and we take HIPAA compliance very seriously.
Once you have purchased the desired test panel, you receive a unique code that serves as identification for the testing center and for your results. This code eliminates the need to fill out identifying paperwork or create an account that can be linked to you. Your entire experience is anonymous unless you choose to reveal personal information to a doctor.
No Insurance Trail
We do not accept traditional insurance as a payment method for two reasons. The first is that this prevents us from having to report the testing to your insurance company. The second reason is so that your test results are not added to your official medical record.
Of course, you may wish to share any positive results with your healthcare provider, but our testing is performed discreetly so that you have control over whether or not your doctor has this information.
We do accept HSA and FSA payments, and the charge on your account will simply say “HealthLabs.com” in order to retain your privacy.
Regardless of whether you test positive or not, your results are strictly confidential, and we don’t share them with anyone but you. If you wish to speak with a provider or a Care Advisor, you are encouraged to call us at any time.
If your results are negative, we erase your code from our databases permanently so that there is no trace of your testing.
We’re Here For Minors Too
It’s a proven fact that minors will often go without important medical testing and treatment if it means they can avoid an uncomfortable conversation with parents or pediatricians. It’s completely understandable, but we also believe that it’s important for anyone to have access to STD treatment regardless of his or her age.
This is why STDcheck is a judgment-free zone. In Texas, anyone under the age of 17 has the right to receive STD testing without the consent of a parent, and our Care Advisors are able to help guide minors step-by-step so that they can get the testing and treatment they may need in a private and discreet manner.
Why STD Testing is So Important
There’s a good chance that your regular care provider doesn’t know the exact schedule that you should adhere to for STD screenings. Often, these areas are outside of a family doctor’s expertise, and the Centers for Disease Control recommend different schedules for certain demographics.
For example, men who engage in sex with other men are recommended to get more frequent screenings because they are at a higher risk for contracting an STD. Teenagers and young adults are also encouraged to get screenings yearly in order to minimize the risk of spreading common infections.
In addition, the guidelines for these tests are constantly being revised and updated, so the schedules may have changed without your doctor’s knowledge. Doctors are also not always updated on the most current and cutting-edge testing that is available, so they may not know it’s possible to order certain types of tests for patients who are concerned about STD risk.
Unfortunately, the rates of infection for diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are continuing to climb at an alarming rate in the United States, so the CDC strongly suggests getting screened any time your sexual relationships change.
Even if you have a stable, trusting sexual relationship with your partner, the CDC recommends getting tested again if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You’re recently pregnant
- You’ve shared drug injection equipment
- You’ve never been tested for HIV
- You’re a sexually active gay or bisexual man
- You’re sexually active and under the age of 25
Ensuring you are in good sexual health is just as important as any looking after other aspects of your physical health. Sexually transmitted infections can impact more than your sex life if left untreated, and there are some diseases that may not show any outward symptoms until they have progressed into late stages.
Getting screened for STDs is a smart and responsible decision, but we understand just how important discretion and privacy can be regarding sensitive medical issues such as this. That’s why choosing a private screening service in Austin is the best choice for making sure you’re in good sexual health.