Frequently Asked Questions
What are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are passed from one person to another during sexual activity. STDs can be serious, painful and may have long-term, even life-threatening, effects, especially if left undetected and untreated. Bacterial STDs, like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, are easily treated and cured with antibiotics. Genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis C and HIV are viral infections that cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated and managed. Sometimes you can have an STD with no signs or symptoms. Other times, the symptoms spontaneously go away, but you still have the infection.
How are STDs spread?
STDs can be spread during vaginal, oral and anal sexual contact with an infected person. Skin to skin contact with the mouth or genitals can spread certain STDs, even if penetration does not occur.
Why should I get tested?
If you are sexually active, you are at risk. Many people have an STD and are not aware because symptoms are not always present. According to the CDC report Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2014 released on November 17, 2015 STDs are on the rise, some at an “Alarming Rate”. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections have increased for the first time since 2006. Chlamydia is up 2.8 percent, gonorrhea is up 5.1 percent while the rise in primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis – the most infectious stage of syphilis – is up 15.1 percent. According to the CDC report, “young people between the ages of 15 and 24 accounted for the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in 2014 and almost two thirds of all reported cases. Additionally, previous estimates suggest that young people in this age group acquire half of the estimated 20 million new STDs diagnosed each year.”1 Get tested for your own health and safety and to protect the sexual health of your partners. Testing provides peace of mind and can help you seek appropriate medical treatment when necessary.
What does the MTL My Home STD Testing Kit test for?
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HCV (hepatitis C virus), HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), HSV2 (herpes simplex virus 2), syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Results are displayed in an easy to read summary table and a complete test report that can be shared with your health care provider is also included.
How much is the MTL My Home STD Testing Kit?
$269, including shipping and no sales tax. The MTL My Home kit includes everything you need to complete testing. No additional forms to print out and no need to go to a crowded collection center. Free shipping is included and expedited shipping options are available.
How do MTL My Home STD Testing Kit costs compare to other testing options?
The MTL My Home kit is competitively priced when compared to other internet testing options with the advantage that testing can be completed in the privacy of your home. Internet testing options require time and effort traveling to a collection center to complete the test. Testing at a clinic involves travel time and expense, not to mention time waiting while you complete paperwork and wait your turn in line for testing.
Typical testing options at clinics:
- Chlamydia & gonorrhea combo test $79-150
- Trichomoniasis test $79-110
- HIV test $65-80
- Comprehensive STD panel (7 STDs) up to $650
MTL My Home STD Test Kit = $269 including shipping and no sales tax.
How do I test myself?
It’s simple! Detailed instructions will guide you through the entire process that will take about 10 minutes. Once sample collection is completed you simply place the test kit in the included FedEx return mailer with pre-paid overnight return shipping.
Women provide a vaginal swab and a few drops of blood using a low-impact finger prick.
Men provide a small urine sample and a few drops of blood using a low-impact finger prick.
All necessary supplies are included in the kit, including pre-paid overnight FedEx packaging.
Please login to your account to access additional information.
When will I get my results?
Results are normally available within 3-7 days after your kit is received at the lab for processing. Once testing has been completed you will receive an automated email notification informing you that your results are ready and can be accessed via your secure online account.
Do you accept insurance?
No. We are a confidential testing provider. No information about you or your testing will be submitted to an insurance carrier or go on your permanent medical record. All medical and billing information is private and protected by HIPAA.
Is my testing really private?
We do everything possible to safeguard your information on our secure, HIPAA compliant servers. Although your name will be printed on the lab results report, your samples are only identified by barcode numbers for processing purposes. Your results are not provided to any insurance company or health care provider medical records system. Only you have access to your report via your account login and you may delete your account at any time.
Are my results ever shared?
Some government health agencies require certain types of positive results be reported. Reporting requirements vary by geographic location and are used for tracking the prevalence of new infections for public health awareness. Most agencies require Name (name on test report), City (or zip code) and which result is positive.
Why should I choose testing with MTL My Home STD Testing Kit?
Protect your health and the health of your sexual partners. Save time, save money and test in complete privacy. The MTL My Home kit is the only at-home kit which provides you the freedom to screen for STDs without the requirement of visiting a clinic for venipuncture blood draw.
Why should I trust MTL?
As a CAP accredited, CLIA certified, HIPAA compliant lab, MTL meets nationwide standards for clinical testing. We also abide by state and federal laws regulating medical privacy.
What if I test positive?
Refrain from further sexual activity until you have spoken with your health care provider.
A full copy of your clinical lab results are available via your secure account access. You can download/print the report and share it with your health care provider who will determine how to best proceed regarding your results. MTL does not provide any medical guidance or prescription services.
Does a negative result mean I do not have an STD?
It depends. The incubation period for some sexually transmitted diseases varies from 2 weeks to 3 months from time of exposure and infection. Regular STD testing is critical protect your sexual health and the sexual health of your partners.
Is my testing anonymous?
Within our secure, HIPAA-compliant reporting process, you are identified solely by a randomly-assigned barcode number. Personal information submitted to MTL My Home Testing will be used to enable transactions and give you the ability to login and check your results. We will never use your personal information for marketing or any other reason.
What clinical tests are used?
The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is used to detect antibodies or antigens for the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and syphilis. Transcription mediated amplification (TMA) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), types of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), is used to detect Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis (Trichomoniasis).
How old do I have to be to order a test?
You must be 18 years or older for the MTL My Home STD Testing Kit.
How long does it take before STDs are detected?
The amount of time before an STD is detectable after exposure is called the window period. For bacterial STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, the window period is approximately 2 days to 3 weeks from exposure. For type specific STDs like HIV 1/2, herpes 1/2, hepatitis C and syphilis the window period is approximately 2 weeks from exposure.
Common practice suggests that people could go in for basic testing for bacterial STDs as soon as 2 to 3 weeks after an exposure – sooner if they have symptoms – but that they would need to be tested again at least three to six months out in order to be certain of their results. At a month out, some tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea would be reasonably accurate, but tests for other diseases such as herpes and HIV take longer to become conclusive.
Listed below are the “window periods” for STD testing,
(ex – chlamydia: 2 wks. – 6 wks., meaning you can test as early as 2 weeks, but it MAY take up to 6 weeks to get a positive test result if you have been infected. It varies from person to person, however, at the onset of any symptoms, testing is recommended immediately.
Chlamydia: 2 wks. – 6 wks.
Gonorrhea: 2 days – 3 wks.
Syphilis: 10 – 90 days
Hep C: 2 wks. – 6 months
Herpes: 3 wks. – 4 months
Many people who are infected with herpes never experience an outbreak. In this case, testing is the only way to determine if you have herpes. Keep in mind you can spread herpes to others in the absence of symptoms or sores.
HIV: 2 wks. – 3 months
May take up to 6 months for a conclusive result. If you get a negative result before 6 months, re-test at 6 months to verify the negative result.
Can you have an STD and be perfectly healthy?
No, you can have an STD and not have signs or symptoms for long periods of time but you are still capable of transmitting the STD to other partners and the STD could be causing other harmful health related issues without you knowing. This is why regular STD screening and testing is so important.
Can STDs be detected without symptoms?
Yes, symptoms do not have to be present for STD testing to be accurate. STDs can be present for long periods of time without any symptoms. This is one way STDs can be passed from partner to partner without the infected individual’s knowledge.
Do I need to fast before getting an STD test?
No, there is no need to fast before getting tested
How long can STDs go undetected?
STDs can be present for years before they become symptomatic. This is why it’s a good idea to be tested before each new sexual encounter or partner. There is no standard amount of time that signs or symptoms will appear for everyone. In some cases you can have an STD with no symptoms at all. If you are concerned about a recent sexual contact, you should be tested.
Can I get the same STD more than once?
Yes. You are not immune to an STD if you have had it before. Most STDs caused by bacteria can be treated and cured, but can be contracted again if exposed. Most Viral STDs cannot be cured, but can be managed with treatment/medication.
Should I get my partner tested?
Yes. STDs are different than many other diseases. They are usually spread through sexual contact. Individuals must take precautions and make every effort to avoid contracting or spreading STDs. Getting tested is the best way to prevent the spread of STDs.
I feel healthy, why should I get tested?
Most STDs go undetected because they have no symptoms. You can feel perfectly healthy and still have an STD. Some people may be carriers of a STD and never know it without proper testing.
Why and when should I get tested?
Unless you abstain from sex (or are in a long-term, strictly monogamous relationship), you are at risk of contracting or spreading STDs. You should get tested BEFORE your next sexual encounter or partner. The benefits of early detection/prevention that come from using highly accurate STD screening tests are very significant to your health and the health of your sexual partners.
1 – CDC. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2014 http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2015/std-surveillance-report-press-release.html