Herpes & STD Testing – Are Private Lab Testing Services Scams? Are they Really Anonymous?
Why pay for what you can get for free at the public clinic? Also, if you have a doctor and you have health insurance, why would you want to pay for a private testing lab?
The truth is that there are lots of reasons why a person might want to use one of these “private anonymous herpes/STD testing services.”
What exactly do I mean by “private anonymous herpes/STD testing service?”
Well, if you were to search for:
• Herpes testing
• STD testing
• Anonymous herpes testing
You would see Advertisements that say:
• 100% Private Herpes Test
• Herpes Test – No Doctor
• 10 min Herpes Test Result
• Private Testing Center
• Had Unprotected Sex? Come to our VIP testing service.
• $245 STD Panel Testing
• Order Now Herpes Testing
• As little as $30 a test
• Same Day Herpes Test $75
• Private Herpes Testing
• Anonymous STD testing
Who is Advertising and who are These Private STD Testing Services?
Some of the companies currently advertising are:
• STD Test Express
• Health Check USA
• Private MD Lab Testing
• Peace of Mind Lab Testing
• Request a Test
• USA Lab Testing
These Places ARE NOT:
1. Public clinics
2. Doctors offices
So what are they?
These services offer “direct to the public lab tests.” In short, these services act like middle men between you and the REAL testing labs. Individuals need a “physicians lab order” in order to get a lab test. Also, labs will only send the test results to a physician. (They don’t want people to get serious results that they don’t understand. They want a doctor involved in the process.)
Essentially, these services have their doctors request the lab test without you having to see a doctor. If the results are positive, they direct you towards resources. They do not provide resources; they will just tell you where to go. They are not going to treat you. They are not a doctor’s office.
Here is How Traditional Lab Testing Works
You go to your doctor and he orders “Lab Tests.” Lab tests are usually done by an accredited medical diagnostic laboratory.
The doctor will either:
1. Get the blood or urine sample in his office and send it to the lab OR
2. Send you to the lab where they will get the blood or urine sample
Regardless, the doctor does not perform the diagnostic lab tests himself. The laboratory will run the tests and send the RESULTS back to your doctor for him to evaluate and discuss with you.
These labs that your doctor will send you to are often huge multi-billion dollar corporations which operate huge networks of clinical laboratories.
Three of the biggest lab corporations are:
• LabCorp – $8 Billion company
• Quest Diagnostics – $10 billion company
• Bio-Reference Laboratories – .4 billion company
It is VERY likely that whether you go to your doctor, a public clinic, or a private testing service, you will be sent to one of the three big diagnostic testing laboratories.
Why Would You Want Private? Why Would You Want Anonymous?
We have established that doctors, public clinics, and private testing services will all be sending either you or your blood sample etc. to a lab. Very likely you will end up at one of the big labs.
You may not want to use a “private testing service” if you:
• Have a doctor and have health insurance OR
• Are very comfortable with your free public clinic
That being said, many people choose not to use one of these free options and instead choose to pay for their lab tests themselves.
Are the Benefits that Private Herpes Testing Services Promise True?
• Time – They say they are faster and you waste less time. This is likely true because you order online and go straight to the lab. (no doctor visit) They “promise” you won’t wait at the lab, however, the lab is a 3rd party business and out of their control. Lots of people advertise “no waiting” but that doesn’t mean it is true. Still, all in all, it is probably the fastest, most convenient way to get a STD test.
• Privacy – Your test results are not reported to your doctor or your insurance company. It seems VERY unlikely that anyone except you will ever find out about the test results. Just one service I found does make it so you can truly get tested anonymously. All things being equal, keeping personal information off permanent records is good. That being said, if you do lie on a health insurance application form, and they do find out, if you ever get sick, they will likely try to cancel your policy and avoid a big payout. Keep in mind, most of these services are not truly anonymous, and most are required to report positive results to local State Health Departments.
• Choice and control – You can get all the tests you want, or just the test you want. Since you are paying, you don’t have to convince doctors that you have been irresponsible, and therefore should get a herpes test. Herpes “type-specific blood tests” are likely not part of the standard panel your doctor would want to give you. You will have to convince your doctor that you need the herpes blood test.
• HerpesSelect Type-Specific Immunoblot IgG Blood Test – People that want a herpes blood test usually want this test. Most of the services that are advertising will offer this test… because that’s what people who are paying want.
How Much Do These Places Charge?
If you can afford it, the price is reasonable. I don’t see how one could expect to pay less.
The person who uses the service likely feels VERY STRONGLY about at least one of these:
• They want to save a little time
• They want to keep it simple without involving doctors and insurance
• They don’t want it on a permanent record
• They want to order all the tests they want or just a specific test
Here are the Prices I Have Found
It’s a bit like ordering of a menu, but here is what most people would be interested in:
• $99-$149 – Herpes Type 1 & 2 type-specific blood Test
• $199-$245 – Complete STD panel of tests. These panels usually include a test for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Herpes- 1 (HSV-1), Herpes-2 (HSV-2), Syphilis
Summary of Private Herpes and STD Testing Services
These services act like a middle man between you and the testing lab. Individuals need a “physicians lab order” in order to get a lab test. Labs will only send the test results to a physician. As a middle man, the “private testing service” will both request the lab test and have the results sent to them… all without you seeing a doctor.
Lab results ordered from a doctor usually go into permanent medical files. These services are “direct to the public lab tests.” Check to make sure they will not be on any permanent record. (Some say they destroy all records after 90 days.)
Be sure to read all about getting your herpes test or STD test done for free and the free clinic.