We get it. It can be embarrassing, distressing, and uncomfortable to have to say out loud that you might have HSV.
You’re not sure, you don’t want to rack up medical bills, and you definitely don’t want anyone else to know.
First thing, you’re not alone. There’s no shame in having a condition that one out of six Americans also have. Herpes is a common infection.
So, what are your options when you think you may have contracted the infection? We’ll give you the scoop on how you can test in the privacy of your own home. We’ll hold the towel up and give you some privacy while you do the swabbing. We’ve got your back!
What is a Home Test Kit for HSV?
A home testing kit for HSV is what you would call a home STD testing kit. They’re very appealing for multiple reasons. There’s no need to be intimidated by the package. An STD package typically consists of a urine cup, swab materials, or blood collection materials.
Your kit will come with instructions on how to use it, what samples to take, and how to store, pack, and mail it back. Most of the time, these kits come with a pre-paid envelope to send back to the company. The paperwork and follow-up has been done for you, you just need to perform the test.
But, are the tests FDA approved? The FDA doesn’t currently regulate the distribution and testing of the self testing kits. However, when you want to buy a self testing kit for herpes, you’ll want to check with the company on whether they use test components that are approved by the FDA or whether they have other certifications to validate their kits and accuracy.
Do Home Test Kits for HSV Work?
Many at-home testing kits are unreliable, and you can’t always trust the results. Even worse, some online companies may never be heard from again after you’ve paid for and received your kit.
However, there is some good news. Some online companies with at-home testing kits are better than others, and they can also reduce user error to provide accurate results.
While it’s still thought that it’s better to be tested by a doctor in a lab, the consensus is, self-testing with an at-home kit is better than no testing at all.
When companies of the kits work with the best labs and health experts to ensure your results meet nationwide standards. These kinds of test kits can be as accurate as tests that have been done in a doctor’s office.
So, do they work? When they’ve been made right, done right, and correctly handled upon receiving for processing, absolutely!
Are Home Test Kits for HSV Accurate?
Accuracy is not only determined upon the quality of the kit, but also upon how the sample is handled during and after use. In fact, user error is definitely very likely when using a kit versus being tested in a doctor’s office.
User error includes how you collect your sample, how it’s stored and packaged when you mail it in, and other control methods that may not be as sterile as when testing is done in a lab.
Here’s what to do to make sure your results are as accurate as possible.
- Research the company scrupulously for reliability and reputation.
- Research both positive and negative reviews on the self testing kit.
- Simpler tests like swabs are more likely to be accurate than blood sample tests.
- Follow all instructions to a T.
- Avoid contamination by using the sterile materials provided.
- Wash hands, sanitize, and wear gloves. Follow good hygiene rules.
According to a study, when these kits are used correctly, results can be as successful as “100-fold increases beyond the rates observed with clinic-based screening.”
Advantages and Disadvantages of Self Testing Kits for HIV
The advantages of buying self test kits for HIV largely outweigh the drawbacks. Take a whizz and see how right we are!
- Cost effective
- Emphasizes privacy
- Can be done in various settings (including your home)
- Private access to results online
- Includes prepaid mail-in packaging
- Can be delivered to your door
- Fast, pain-free, and easy to use
- Use testing kits as often as you like
- Access to free consultations when dealing with a positive result
- Can be expensive
- Requires research into reputable companies
- Have to administer the test yourself
- Possibly not as accurate as testing done in clinical settings
How Much Does a Herpes Test Kit Cost?
Most of these kits, if not all, are not covered by medical insurance, FSA, and HSA plans. Paying for this kit will have to come out of pocket. However, you’re not totally out of pocket just yet.
By doing your research into reputable companies, you can avoid sketchy ones with ridiculous costs into the hundreds of dollars. Depending on where you live, some states in the U.S.A. offer free at home herpes test kits.
The boon of quality home testing kits with online access to ensure privacy is funded by grants for the benefit of those who are wondering if they have HSV or not.
However, if you don’t have access to free test kits, you can purchase them for $40 off your local pharmacy shelves. Again, you’ll need to look into the product before you buy, even though it’s so cheap. It could be 40 bucks down the drain.
For the best kits, you should look at prices between $100-$200. There are more expensive kits available, and we’re sure they can be trusted, but it doesn’t really shout cost effectiveness when they’re priced so high.
What To Do With a Positive Result
If you happen to get a positive result, you’re not left alone. Most at-home kits will offer a free consultation to discuss your treatment options. Through a telemedicine appointment, the physician might also be able to prescribe medication straight to your pharmacy based on your symptoms at the time of the consultation.
If you’ve chosen a quality and trustworthy company to order your self test from, you results may be lab-certified. This means that you can take the results straight to your own physician for treatment options and prescriptions.
Alternative Medicine for Herpes
This post wouldn’t be complete if we left you hanging with just “go see the doc.” Sometimes, medication just doesn’t cut it for recurrent outbreaks that can happen. A lot of the time, side effects are expected that can make the symptoms of HSV even worse.
The first step in facing HSV is acknowledging the positive result from an at home herpes screening test kit. Remaining undiagnosed doesn’t help you, and it can perpetuate the spread of the infection.
There are a plethora of alternative and natural treatments to help keep the herpes at bay and from taking control of your life.
These treatments can include supplements, essential oils, and nutrient-rich food; daily exercise, stress management, and quality sleep. You can mix and match, blend and extend, many of the natural treatments together to maximize your defense against the infection and its activation.
Many of the home remedies, supplements, and oils for herpes are cost-effective. They’re less expensive than prescription medications, and they also have little to no side effects. There’s little risk, but a lot to gain!
Privacy and At Home Herpes Kits
There’s a lot of hearsay when it comes to using the self testing kits. Many in the medical field are against them because it doesn’t force people into the doctor’s office. However, the luxury of privacy by testing in the comfort of your own home can’t be matched by any seductive lures the doctor’s office can conjure up. It’s just as simple as that.
But, privacy goes far beyond just taking a swab in your own bathroom. If you see a doctor for your herpes, and your medical insurance is billed for it, the tests and results are recorded into the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) database.
While your current insurance provider can’t discriminate based on your results, every other insurance provider also has access to this information and can make coverage and rate decisions based upon what they see in the database.
With at home testing kits, you can keep your purchase and your results confidential. There’s no middle man involved in helping you get screened, and therefore, no reporting to the MIB. No, that doesn’t stand for Men In Black.
Where Can I Buy At Home Herpes Test Kits
You might be able to find some test kits on the shelves of your pharmacy. You will also have access to these kits at a local health center and reproductive clinic. However, to maximize privacy, it’s best to buy online.
You place your order and pay for it where you’ll be directed to create a member account for access to results, consultations, and the like. Wait for your kit to arrive, and take five minutes to do the test. Pop it in its packaging and send it off. Access your account for results that can take up to a week after they’ve received your sample.
Some of the best turnaround times from order to results are 5-11 days total. The My Lab Box at home kit for both men and women has a very fast turnaround time where you won’t have to suffer longer than you need to waiting for your results. You order it in private, receive it in private, and get your results in private – in a jiffy!
Keep Private Things Private!
Reputable companies that offer quality home testing kits with online access to ensure privacy, can prove to be a boon for millions of people. Undiagnosed herpes can cause a plethora of health issues with the high likelihood of very painful symptoms.
Don’t suffer in ignorance (because it’s not bliss). You don’t have to leave your home to go to the doctor’s office. Keep your private business private. It’s your health and your body. Know how it’s working today, and get to treating it right away!
Further Reading: Find out natural Herpes fighting treatments
Disclaimer: This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a professional healthcare provider before commencing treatment.