After two healing years of singledom, I’m finally ready to dive back into the proverbial sea of fish. Wading back into dating is nerve-wracking enough, so when the folks at STDCheck reached out to me about reviewing their service, I jumped at the chance. I’m very protective of my body and health, and I wanted to enter the partner-seeking process certain of my status.
There are many places to get a standard STI screen: your GP or OBGYN’s office, your local clinic or Planned Parenthood, and even some urgent care facilities. Your access to these settings can vary depending on factors like location, ability, and insurance coverage, but STDCheck aims to simplify this process.
How It Works
A great feature of this web-based service is the ability to tailor the screening to your needs. You can order a single panel to test for a specific infection, or a 10-test panel, which covers virtually all known STIs. This includes HSV 1 & 2 (oral and genital herpes), which are often omitted from screenings done in other settings.
After you select a panel, a test is ordered for you at a local lab of your choice. Many labs allow walk-ins, so testing is always on your timetable. Best of all, I didn’t even have to use my legal name! I was able to use an alias on the lab order, and just had to pull up the confirmation email to verify my identity. In our digital age of dwindling privacy, this was a big bonus.
After just 20 hours, the verdict was in. I could barely believe it. If you’re someone who deals with anxiety, it doesn’t get better than that. Even if you’re not particularly concerned, the suspense can be rough! Lots of STIs are asymptomatic, and you just never know. I was notified by email that my results were waiting for me at my web account with STDCheck.
I was relieved to see negative results for each illness on the panel, but also slightly perplexed. I’ve long suspected I may have HSV-1, the virus that causes oral herpes, and expected to have that confirmed. It’s very common, and I’ve spotted a little bump on my lower lip every few years or so since childhood, when it’s often contracted.
Despite my suspicions, I never received the blood test necessary to detect it before now. I would just treat the occasional pimple with cold sore cream and curb my affectionate tendencies for a week or so to spare others. As it turns out, I don’t carry the virus after all. That was great news, but what if I did?
In the event of a positive result in any category, you can call the support line to interpret its meaning and procure treatment. This is a major perk. I definitely would have appreciated this immediate assistance if my screen revealed anything concerning.
STDCheck has so much going for it. The full panel covered all bases, and my results came lightning-fast. Being able to use an alias and the nearest medical lab made the process as convenient as possible. I have just a single bone to pick: the cost. I imagine many folks seeking a service like this would want the full 10-panel test, but at $198 this method could be cost-prohibitive, especially if you wanted regular screens.
This doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker, given the à la carte options available. That’s another benefit that may not be available through other screening methods. I also received incredible customer service throughout this experience. Given how health concerns can rattle the nerves, a little hand-holding went a long way.
Big thanks to STDCheck for helping me secure my stats, and setting a new standard in this field. Tinder, here I come!