I’m sure at one point or another we’ve all experienced that combination feeling of dread, curiosity and worry about our sexual health. There’s a point when maybe you can’t remember the last time you were tested for HIV, and perhaps you’ve never been tested for many other STD’s that are more common.
A couple of months ago, I got it into my head that I had to be tested for any and every STD, especially the ones I had never been tested for before. It occurred to me that I had never been tested for many STDs that are more prevalent than what I ever imagined. In many of the most prevalent STDs, symptoms are often dormant for years, and they are mistaken for less concerning issues. Not all sexually active people get tested for STDs, so they may not even know that they have one for a long time.
As someone without insurance, I was sure that the SCAD clinic would be more than what I could afford. So, I started searching online for fast, and possibly free, STD testing.
Well, as it turns out, few things in life are free, even peace of mind. However, there are means for fast testing and fast results. I came across a site, LocalSTDTesting, that offers individual tests for HIV, gonorrhea and many other STDs mentioned earlier. Alternatively, you can purchase a full screening for $379.
Getting an appointment at a Savannah lab was quick and easy. I was scheduled for the next morning and had all of my test results within three days. All negative, so all of my WebMD induced worry was for nothing.
A few months later, I decided to give the SCAD clinic a call, about an unrelated issue, and thought to ask about their tests and prices for the sake of knowing. I was surprised to find out that the SCAD clinic would have been much less expensive:
With the 50% discount for students without insurance, full screenings are about $230, the same screenings that I had paid for were almost $150 more.
I was, and still am, experiencing buyer’s remorse after this discovery. As a student on a pretty tight budget, I should have been more diligent when searching for an inexpensive and fast way to get these tests done. Instead, I let assumptions and hasty research guide my decision.
Still, with the additional costs that come with clinic appointments, co-pays and the cost of insurance, it’s all virtually the same. When you go to a clinic or your doctor they either collect samples and send them to labs or refer you directly to the lab. You pay for that. When you go through a third party, like I did, you’re taking the doctor and appointment out of the equation. You pay for that.
So, regardless of what might save you a dollar here or time there, as long as you get tested for STDs it matters little what route your take.
If you have any questions about safe sex, awareness programs or other general questions, email me.Contact Shannon Gentry.