When I heard about home testing for sexually transmitted diseases, I was intrigued. Who doesn't despise that particularly awkward conversation with their doctor? And who doesn't want to skip the waiting room and long line at the lab?
The kit I used is available online for $189 from a company called myLAB Box. Many other companies offer similar tests -- EverlyWell and LetsGetChecked, to name two. The kits cost anywhere from $100 to $400, depending on the number of diseases you're tested for.
After opening my kit, I saw everything I needed packed neatly into a box about the size of my palm. Following the steps outlined in pictures on the instruction sheet, the entire procedure took less than 15 minutes. First I used a giant Q-tip as a vaginal swab. I doused my ring finger with alcohol and pricked it with a plastic lancet, carefully letting droplets of blood land in circles on a white collection card. After sealing both samples in separate biohazard bags, I shipped the specimens off in a prepaid envelope.
I had ordered tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and trichomoniasis -- the basic package. A few days later I received an email confirming that my results were negative. (Unlike George Costanza, of "Seinfeld" fame, I knew that "negative" is good in this context.)