STD Testing Pricing
Based on our research, the price of STD testing tends to vary quite a bit. The cost depends on the type of STD you're screening for, as well as which testing option you use, and where you obtain the test.
- 1 The cost of STD testing varies and depends on what you’re screening for, which option you choose, and where you get tested.
- 2 Most common STDs can be tested for either with at-home tests or performed in a lab.
- 3 Some health insurance covers the cost of STD testing, but often the test needs to be ordered by a doctor.
- 4 There are health clinics, like Planned Parenthood, that offer low cost or free STD testing.
Published January 23, 2020
Written by STDTesting.org Editorial Staff
In the guide that follows, we cover the approximate prices of several types of STD tests, as well as what to expect when you’re being screened for an STD.
10-Test Panel Pricing
A 10-test panel is a good option for individuals who have engaged in unprotected sexual acts with a person whose history they don’t know. This test screens for the following STDs:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Herpes type 1 and 2
- HIV type 1 and 2
When completing a 10-test panel in a lab, the technician will request several samples, including blood and urine. These tests typically cost between $100 and $250 when performed in a lab.
An at-home 10-test panel kit can be purchased online. The cost ranges from about $200 to as much as $900 for those that include an HIV RNA test, which can detect HIV earlier than a standard blood test.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can be contracted via oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse, as well as by any other exchange of bodily fluids. The disease is incurable; however, HIV symptoms can be treated to minimize discomfort and prevent progression into AIDS.
There are several blood tests used to test for HIV and AIDS. A test can be performed to detect antibodies made by the body in reaction to the presence of HIV in the system. If the disease has been in the body for more than eight weeks, there are additional tests that can be performed to detect HIV in the bloodstream. Along with blood tests, an oral swab can be used to detect HIV. The cost of HIV testing depends on the type of test used and the stage of the illness. They usually range from about $10 to $65.
While there are HIV blood tests that can be collected at home, most tests that can be conducted at home consist of collecting a sample of saliva. Unlike other STD tests, a saliva sample doesn’t need to be delivered to a lab and can provide accurate results within 20 to 30 minutes. HIV blood tests cost between $40 and $65 in most cases, while a saliva test is typically about $50.
Gonorrhea is often asymptomatic, but it can lead to infertility and other complications with the reproductive system in both men and women. If caught early, it can be easily treated with antibiotics.
Gonorrhea is usually tested for by checking the urine. Some doctors or lab technicians prefer to use a genital or oral swab, depending on how the disease may have been contracted. A lab test for gonorrhea usually costs between $15 and $150.
Most at-home urine tests require a sample of urine to be collected and sent or delivered to a lab. They typically cost between $40 and $50.
Chlamydia, which causes painful intercourse and urination in men and women, can be contracted through anal, vaginal, or oral sex with an infected partner. It can also be passed from mother to child during birth. It’s recommended that individuals who have multiple sex partners undergo chlamydia testing annually. While treatable with antibiotics, the disease can lead to several severe health complications if it’s not caught early.
Individuals can be tested for chlamydia in a lab with a simple urine test or a vaginal swab. Most labs charge between $50 and $100 for this test.
Chlamydia tests can be conducted safely and accurately at home by providing a urine sample and delivering or mailing it to a lab. At-home chlamydia tests usually cost between $35 and $60.
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) can cause genital warts and puts infected individuals at a higher risk for developing certain cancers, including cervical, vulvar, anal, or throat cancer. While most cases of HPV clear up on their own within a year or two, the disease is highly contagious, so it’s important that any sexually active person with multiple partners tests for it on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, there is no HPV test for men, and women can only test for abnormalities in their cervical cells that typically result from HPV. The test is completed by collecting a sample of cervical cells, which is used to screen for cancer. An HPV test is typically performed by a doctor during a PAP test. The cost of the test itself is generally about $30, but may be higher due to additional clinic costs.
Women can purchase an at-home cervical cancer screening test that requires them to collect a sample of vaginal fluid using a cotton swab. The cost of this test usually ranges from $85 to $120.
Genital Herpes Testing
Genital herpes causes blisters that typically appear on the genitals, and in some cases, on the buttocks or thighs. It’s caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There is no cure for genital herpes, and during outbreaks, the virus is extremely contagious.
There are several testing methods that can be used to check for genital herpes. During an outbreak, a lab may take a viral culture, which is a swab of fluid from the blister. Other options include taking a sample of blood or spinal fluid. The cost of these tests varies quite a bit, ranging from around $15 to as much as $100.
Testing for herpes at home usually means providing a blood sample, which can be collected using a small lancet to poke the finger. The average cost of an at-home herpes test ranges from about $100 to $175.
Syphilis is caused by bacteria that pass via bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex or childbirth. It causes a wide range of symptoms, and as the disease progresses, it can have detrimental effects on the body’s organs. When caught early, the disease can be cured with antibiotics.
Tests for syphilis can be performed by taking a viral culture if sores are present. In cases where the patient has no sores, there are two blood tests that can be done to check for antibodies created in response to syphilis in the body. Tests for syphilis range in price from about $10 to $25.
Syphilis tests performed at home involve collecting a blood sample and delivering it to a lab for testing. The cost of an at-home syphilis test is usually around $40.
Do health insurance plans cover the cost of STD testing?
There are many plans that will cover at least a portion of the cost of an STD test. Many of these plans require the test to be ordered by a doctor. It’s best to check with your insurance provider for details about your coverage, and the amount of any co-pay.
Do I have to pay the cost of STD testing up-front?
If you’re purchasing an at-home STD testing kit, you’ll have to pay the cost of the test immediately; however, if you’re taking an STD test in a lab or medical office, you may be able to discuss payment options with administrative staff. If you’re unable to afford the cost of testing, you may want to discuss testing options with the nearest Planned Parenthood location, which provides low-cost and sometimes free services.
How do I prepare for an STD test?
While most STD tests don’t require any drastic preparation measures, each test is different. It’s important to follow any directions provided by your doctor or lab. If you’re taking an at-home test, read and follow the directions on the package precisely.
How long does it take to receive results?
Each STD test varies in the length of time it takes to process; however, most urine tests take less than one week, while blood tests and other swabs may take several weeks.
- Sources [-]
https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/index.html. Accessed November 2019.
https://medlineplus.gov/gonorrhea.html. Accessed November 2019.
https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm. Accessed November 2019.
https://medlineplus.gov/hpv.html. Accessed November 2019.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/genital-herpes/symptoms-causes/syc-20356161. Accessed November 2019.
https://medlineplus.gov/syphilis.html. Accessed November 2019.