One of our Cardiologists and co-founder of LabFinder, Robert Segal, MD, was interviewed on Elemental at Medium to discuss what he really thinks of at-home STI tests.
He’s quoted as saying:
And the earlier you intervene, the earlier you can start to treat, which can help cut off the spread of disease. “A lot of people refrain from testing because of the fear of the results and the fear of stigmatization,” says Robert Segal, MD, co-founder of LabFinder.com, which helps people locate nearby medical testing sites. “If they’re testing at home, it might help to relieve that fear, which can lead to a greater incident of treatment.”
“At-home testing can show false negatives as often as one in 12 times,” Segal says, which could lead someone with an infection to participate in behavior that could spread the disease. “So, ideally, these at-home kits would be more sensitive than the ones we have in the lab, because they need to be. Even if it’s picking up a false positive, that’s a preferable situation, because then a patient can go into the offices and get a second opinion.”
Most patients also don’t know their STI timelines: Some infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can show up just a few days after exposure, while infections like herpes and HIV can have an incubation period of up to three months. “If the patient tests too early for these infections, they could get a negative result, when in reality, they’ve just tested too early,” Segal says.
View the original piece placement on Elemental at Medium.