An examination room at a doctor's office.


What to Know About Private STD Testing

Private STD testing is performed at lab facilities that are owned by specific companies and not public health entities or organizations. In some cases, a physician will refer you to a private lab for testing if deemed necessary. However, many private labs allow you to easily make an appointment for testing without a physician referral.

Being tested directly at a private lab ensures you take the right test for the STD in question. You will have several options to choose from, whether you are testing for a specific STD or want an expanded panel that tests for several at once.

Most samples are collected by the lab technician, such as a blood draw, or you will be provided with proper instruction to retrieve the sample yourself on-site, particularly with those requiring urine. Once collected, the lab technicians properly handle and store the sample, preparing it for official lab testing. This professional process ensures your sample is at minimal risk of contamination, and that your sample was collected correctly.

Results will be shared with you anywhere from 24 – 72 hours after your test is processed. Depending on the company, your results may be shared via secure account online or over the phone. If you work with your physician to get a referral for an STD test, your results will be shared directly to your doctor’s office, at which point your doctor will follow up with you to determine any next steps, if necessary. If you choose to visit a private facility on your own and receive a positive result, you will need to share these results with your physician right away to begin treatment.

Many private STD testing locations accept insurance to pay for some or all of the testing fees, but out-of-pocket prices are available for those who do not have or don’t want to use insurance. Because these are privately owned companies, costs can be somewhat higher than visiting a public testing facility.

Although you may be visiting a private laboratory for STD testing, you can still rest assured that your reason for being there is kept discreet. Even if there are others in the waiting room with you, these companies offer testing for a wide variety of health concerns, so no one will know why you are there. In addition, the lab technicians are generally only provided with the specimen requirements and special handling notes without personal details. In the event they do know why you are getting tested, all medical personnel are required to keep your information private per HIPAA, so you can feel confident testing will be performed discreetly.

Looking for Private Lab Testing? Start with Priority STD

There are a wide variety or private labs that offer STD testing, but how do you know you’re visiting the right one? Through Priority STD, you can quickly access private testing when you need it in a location that is convenient for you.

Order your STD testing by first entering your zip code to find the nearest testing center. Once selected, choose the test(s) you need from an online collection, whether you need an individual test or discounted panel test to check for multiple STDs at one time. Then, simply checkout and reserve your lab order. After you’ve purchased, you can visit the testing center you selected when it is convenient for you, with no appointment necessary.

Testing is generally quick, with the visit taking less than thirty minutes. Results are expedited 24 – 72 hours after collection, and you are provided with a secure patient login to check your results online at any time. There are also care counselors available to help you understand your results and treatment options, or to answer any questions you may have. For those who test positive for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis, Priority STD can handle a phone consultation with one of their partner physicians and call in a prescription for you at the pharmacy of your choice for a small fee, making access to treatment quick and easy.

All of your personal information is kept secure, and no results or other communication is sent to your home or healthcare provider without prior consent. The testing network includes over 4,000 private centers nationwide, and all locations are FDA regulated and CLIA certified for professional, accurate testing.

Pros and Cons of Private Lab Testing for STDs

No one - from the people in the waiting room to even your healthcare provider - will know why you are getting tested (unless you choose to share this information with them). Private testing centers will not send anything to your home, and tests can easily be ordered online or over the phone before you visit the location.
You have to leave home
While they are discreet, you still have to leave the house to have the STD test performed. For some, this can be difficult for scheduling reasons or personal preference.
Increased likelihood of accurate results
Unlike at-home STD testing, private testing centers are staffed with professionals who are experienced in collecting samples. This experience means there is less likely to be any contamination or mishandling of your sample to provide a truly accurate STD test result.
Quick results and access to treatment assistance
Because you are not having to ship your sample back to a lab, test results are usually provided within 24 - 72 hours from the time the sample was collected. Results are provided through a secure online portal, or you can reach out over the phone to discuss your results and treatment options. If your results come back positive, you will have immediate access to information and guidance on the next steps you should take, including possibly calling in a prescription for you to begin treatment right away.
May be less accessible than public testing centers for some individuals
For those who do not have insurance or a lower income, the costs can be a bit high. Also, if you are under a certain age, you may not be able to access discreet testing without parental permission.
Minimal wait times
Individuals visiting a private testing center usually have made a prior appointment, so the waiting area is not full of people in line. These centers are generally quicker for those looking to get in, provide their sample, and get back to their days.