How safe are STI home tests?

Checking the different test options

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Introduction: Living sexuality in a self-determined and safe way

Are you active in matters of love and want to take care of your sexual health with self-confidence and personal responsibility? Are you thinking about testing yourself at home for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV, but are still unsure which test suits you and is safest? Don't worry, we at s.a.m health are here to help.

Self-testing for STIs and HIV: Convenient and discreet

With a home test for HIV and STIs, you can test yourself in the comfort of your own home - discreetly and easily. With a home test with laboratory analysis, such as ours from s.a.m health, you simply take the samples yourself and send them to the laboratory for professional analysis. But beware, there are big differences in testing and analysis methods that can affect the validity of the results - and a wrong test result can have serious consequences.

The different types of STD home tests at a glance

1) The home test as a rapid test (without laboratory analysis)

This test is quick and easy. You simply perform it at home and can read the result after just a few minutes. But be careful, home tests without laboratory analysis are not always as reliable as the analysis in a professional laboratory.


As the name suggests, this test is unbeatable in terms of speed. You can interpret your results within 10 to 30 minutes. It is discreet and you can do it in your everyday life.


An evaluation in a professional laboratory is always more accurate and safer than an STD rapid test performed at home. The analysis devices in the laboratory are more precise. But mistakes can also happen when performing the test. And as a novice it is often not so easy to interpret the display correctly.

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2) The Home Test - or rather the submission test - with laboratory evaluation

This type of HIV and STI test is the perfect combination of convenience and reliability. You take the samples yourself at home, send them to the lab and get a reliable test result at the highest medical level. Ideally, you will receive instruction on how to properly collect and submit the samples.


You can perform the sample collection discreetly at home and save yourself the trip to the doctor. Above all, the samples are analysed in the laboratory to the highest medical standard. And by sending the samples directly to the laboratory, you usually get the results much faster than with a traditional visit to the doctor.


When taking the samples, mistakes can be made. It is therefore ideal to receive instruction on how to take and send in the samples correctly.

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Implementation of an STI self-test

Self-tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are easy to obtain - you can buy them at the pharmacy or anonymously online. Two types of samples are common:

1. Blood sample

During a blood analysis, the test person pricks his fingertip with a small lancet and draws his own blood. The only difficulty: a certain amount of blood must be taken. This procedure is used to detect HIV and Syphilis.

2. Urine sample

For the analysis the test person collects some urine. It is important that the first portion of urine is used. This method is used to detect Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

💡 Important points you should consider:

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Home tests (as rapid tests) vs. professional home tests with laboratory evaluation

Home tests as rapid tests Home tests with laboratory evaluation
Type of samples HIV tests performed with saliva or urine are inaccurate in their results. The HIV home tests should have EU approval (CE mark). Blood plasma or serum are suitable as analysis material.
Infections The tests must be purchased individually. You can only be tested for one specific STD at a time. The home test with laboratory evaluation is available as a test kit for all four sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis).
Implementations Carrying out the procedure without medical staff and from home is often flawed. Carrying out the procedure without medical staff and from home is often flawed. Exceptions are tests with a professional introduction in advance.
Evaluation and communication of results The test person can - after 10 to 30 minutes - interpret the result independently, eg. on the basis of a colour change on a test strip. Misinterpretations are possible, such as not recognising a color or confusing control and test strips. Only the pure HIV test provides a reliable result. According to medical standards, the home test for gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis only provides inadequate test results. The evaluation is carried out in the laboratory. The results are then transferred to S.A.M. The test results are classified as safe based on the evaluation in the laboratory. Standardised test procedures are used for laboratory tests. Clients then receive their test results by SMS. If the test is positive, a telephone message with advice is sent.
Recommendations for action If the result is positive, the test person is on his own. On the telephone there is the possibility of a consultation on the treatment options.

There are some differences in home tests with regard to sample type, infections, execution and result transmission. Evaluation in the laboratory guarantees a reliable result, whereas misinterpretations are often possible with home tests.

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s.a.m health: STI home testing + professional laboratory analysis + trustworthy advice

With our offer, you can discreetly take samples at home and have them analyzed at the highest medical level. Experienced consultants are available to answer all your questions about the test and your sexual health.

You can find more detailed information on STI and testing, diagnosis and treatment options on the pages of the Deutsche Aidshilfe.

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Should you get tested for STIs?

The probability of becoming infected with an STI increases with the number of sexual partners. Most STIs do not show symptoms for a long time, but can also be transmitted without symptoms and have late effects. Regular testing for STIs is the only way to be safe.

Which STIs should you get tested for?

What does it make sense to test for? And what not? There is a wide range of tests for sexually transmitted diseases We offer STI tests for the four most common STIs that require treatment:

Our former medical consultant explains in our article "Which sexually transmitted diseases should get tested for" more about this.

Do you want to take control of your own body and your love life and easily perform the HIV and STI home test from home? With s.a.m health this is possible! Don't wait, start now your way to a safe, self-determined and active sex life.

Register here now and test yourself for sexually transmitted diseases.

Sources: Epidemiological Bulletin (5/2012) www.rki.de Emis Final Report MSM 2010 www.ecdc.europa.eu

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