A rapid STD test is one that provides results within a few minutes. Testing can be done at home, rather than in a health care provider’s office. Rapid STD tests can help eliminate the stress of taking this type of test, as well as save time and effort.
Taking an STD test in a health care provider’s office can cause a lot of fear and anxiety, especially among those who haven’t previously undergone testing. You may also feel embarrassed about having to be tested, even though STDs are extremely common and will affect half of all sexually active people by the time they reach age 25.
Faster Results and Treatment
Taking a rapid STD test, either at home or in a provider’s office, can eliminate some of these barriers because you get the results in minutes instead of days. If the results are positive and you do have an STD, you can get treatment right away instead of having to come back to receive a prescription.
More Likely to Get Treated
Another issue that health care providers experience is providing STD testing for people who never return for the results or any necessary treatment. When this happens, a person could be infected with an STD but not receive treatment, therefore increasing the risk of continuing to pass it to others.
Risks of STDs
Certain STDs can have long-term health impacts, such as infertility, weakened immunity, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Early treatment of HIV can help reduce your risk of illness and increase your lifespan, while also lessening how much of the virus is in your bodily fluids, thus reducing the risk of transmitting it to others.
Although rapid STD tests certainly have advantages, they may not be as accurate as other types of tests. On average, a rapid test is between 85 and 99% sensitive to the presence of an infection in your bodily fluids, depending on the STD and how long it’s been since you were exposed.