Anonymous STD Testing Is Not Offered
No matter how you get tested, whether it’s at home, in your doctor’s office in a clinic or online, you must identify yourself when you get an STD test. If you test negative for sexually-transmitted infections, you don’t have much to worry about. Your personal information is kept private and confidential.
The Health Department’s Relentless Pursuit
But if you test positive, all bets are off. Every state has a law that requires medical professionals to report the personal information of someone who tests positive for most STDs to the state health department. These are called notifiable conditions or notifiable diseases. In some states, however, you can get an anonymous HIV test only.
From there, it only gets worse. Depending on what state you live in, the health department might automatically notify your spouse about your test results, without telling or notifying you. A disease specialist will hound you to try and get you to reveal who your recent sex partners were so they can be advise them to get tested for STDs. They will ask you for names, addresses and phone numbers. They will ask you to name the social media sites you use and to identify your screen names.
First, they will call you or they might send you a note in the mail that says they have an urgent health-related matter to discuss. Then they will come to your home — unannounced — ring your doorbell and ask to speak to you about an urgent health matter. If you’re not home, they will leave a note addressed to you that says the same thing. They are persistent and relentless, and it’s not very difficult for anyone to guess why the health department is chasing after you.
Fear of Exposure
This threat of public exposure is enough of a risk to privacy that some people are willing to put their health at risk to avoid it. It causes some people not to get tested. It causes others to guess at their diagnosis and treatment, and to order medicine online that might or might not be the right remedy. And it doesn’t encourage anyone to get tested on a regular basis just in case.
We believe that all sexually-active adults should get tested regularly for STDs. Many people with STDs don’t know they have one because they don’t experience any symptoms. Gonorrhea, in particular, is becoming resistant to all the antibiotics we have to combat it. The wrong treatment only makes this worse.
If sexually-active adults can get tested for sexually-transmitted diseases using the various testing options that are available — at home, at a doctor’s office or clinic or online — that is ideal. But for those who are concerned about privacy and confidentiality, we don’t want fear of exposure to prevent anyone from getting tested and getting treatment.
Getting an Anonymous STD Test
We developed and tested the process described in our Guide to Anonymous STD Testing because we were concerned about our own privacy. What we describe is a process that you can follow to get an STD test without revealing your identity and to get anonymous treatment in many cases. If someone tries to sell you an anonymous STD test, be warty, because such a test does not exist. Ask if you can also get anonymous treatment because if you can’t, your’re probably going to have to reveal your identity to get it.
Responsibility to Notify Sexual Partners
The health department’s objective is to ensure that an outbreak doesn’t become an epidemic. Their task is to notify anyone who might have been exposed to a disease about the risk to their health, and to encourage them to get tested. Anyone who follows our guide, gets an anonymous test and tests positive has a responsibility and obligation to notify his or her recent sex partners about the infection. We provide an anonymous notification tool on our website to do that if you can’t do it in person.
Regular STD testing is typically covered by health insurance. But you can’t get an anonymous test and have your insurance pay for it. So, unfortunately, the alternative we provide will cost you about $200 for the test and another $100 if you can get treatment online.
The Bottom Line
The rate of sexually-transmitted diseases is on the rise. The only way we can reverse this trend is to encourage all sexually-active adults to get tested regularly for STDs and to get treatment.