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Giới thiệuGet Tested for STIs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. How to mitigate risk during in-person STI testing
Most clinics have protocols in place in order to protect both the people getting tested and the ones giving the tests.
For example, most clinics will have you call them when you arrive, ask you to wait outside, and then ring you when it’s your turn.
Many clinics will also take your temperature at the door and ask you about any recent COVID-19 exposures or symptoms before allowing you inside the building.
Go to the testing center’s website, or give them a call, to learn more about their clinic-specific protocols.
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2. Another option: At-home STI testing
“At-home STI tests make STI testing easy, convenient, and private” Rymland says. “And it allows you to do so without making an appointment, going to a lab, or talking about it face-to-face with a medical provider.”
Here’s how they work:
- You order an at-home STI testing kit to your home, which includes everything you need to collect your sample(s).
- You open the box and follow instructions to a T to collect your samples.
- Finally, you mail your samples off to a lab and wait to receive your results via email or patient portal in a few days. Easy!
“A perk of at-home STI tests is that they [can] cost less than in-person visits for those who aren’t insured,” says Rashmi Kudesia, MD, a medical advisor for SimpleHealth, an online prescriber of birth control for folks of all genders.
They’re also a way for those who are insured to side-step their insurance if they want to for privacy’s sake, she says. For instance, those who are covered under parental insurance, and those who were unfaithful to the partner they share an insurance plan with.
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3. Yes, at-home STI testing kits are reliable
“Assuming you follow the directions for collecting specimens (urine, blood, vaginal fluid, etc.), at-home STI tests are fairly reliable,” Kudesia says.
After all, most at-home STI services send the samples you collected to the same labs doctor-collected samples are sent to, says public health expert Charlene Brown, MD, MPH.
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To help address this, digital providers, like Nurx and PlushCare, offer PrEP and other reproductive care to Americans of all genders through telehealth.