How long should I wait before I get tested?
This is very good question. Every test has a window period, which is the time between infection and the time a test can reliably detect that infection. The window period is not the same for every test. If you are concerned about a specific contact, you must wait the correct length of time in order for your testing to be accurate. This is one of the things that set Private Testing Center apart from most other services. We will ALWAYS determine how long it has been since any contacts of concern. This is to make certain you are not wasting time and money by testing too soon. Many services, including other online facilities and clinics, never ask about window periods. We have had numerous calls from upset individuals who have been tested at other facilities only days after a contact; sometimes even next day. This leads not only to inaccurate results, but also to not getting proper treatment and/or possibly infecting others.
How often should I get tested?
The frequency of testing depends on many things; the number of partners, whether contacts are protected or unprotected, etc. Do not base getting tested on whether or not you are having symptoms. Remember, many times you may or may not experience symptoms while infected with HIV or an STD. We feel everyone should be tested at least annually if you are sexually active. However, more frequent testing may be necessary for some individuals.
Should I be tested even if I’m not having symptoms?
It is a good idea to have screenings periodically because many individuals infected with HIV and/or STDs either have no symptoms, or have only mild symptoms that may go unnoticed. STDs are not only treatable, many are curable. However, if left untreated, HIV and STDs can cause unnecessary, irreversible damage.
Does a condom protect me from all STDs?
No. Although condoms are very useful in preventing the transmission of body fluids from one partner to another, they do not prevent skin to skin contact. The areas not covered by the condom are still exposed and at risk for herpes, syphilis and HPV infection. We recommend the use of condoms as they do help to prevent transmission of HIV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trich and hepatitis. However, keep in mind you are still susceptible to skin to skin contracted STDs even with the use of a condom.
Do I need an appointment or can I just walk-in?
You must call to set up your testing prior to visiting the lab. The process of setting up takes only minutes. The time you actually visit the lab is flexible. We will provide you with the hours available and, once testing is set up, you may go anytime during those hours. All we require is at least a 30 minute notice to get you in for testing.
Why should I choose Private Testing Center over a clinic?
Most clinics offer urethral swabs, which can be painful, and visual exams, which can be embarrassing. Our testing is all blood and urine and is the most accurate testing available. With most clinics, it can take several days or even weeks to get an appointment and then weeks for results. With us, we can get you in for testing same day and our results take only 1 to 3 days. Also, many clinics do not offer a blood test for herpes. The blood test we offer is the most accurate way to detect the herpes virus.
Is your testing anonymous?
No, our testing is not anonymous. However, it is confidential. We are required to get a name and date-of-birth. The reason for this is only to make sure you are receiving the right testing when you get to the lab. However, your testing will not go on your medical record and your information will not be shared.
Is your testing free?
No. Our testing is not free. The fact is, in the past, many government funded clinics were free. However, at this point most of these clinics are forced to charge for testing due to the condition of our economy. The Federal and State Governments simply can no longer afford to fund HIV and STD testing. Some clinics may be able to base fees on a sliding scale, so depending on how much money you make, some testing may be cheaper. However, they will require you to bring a check stub and provide all personal information. Keep in mind, testing provided at a clinic will most likely be much different than ours and take much longer.
Do you accept insurance?
We are a confidential testing center; therefore, we do not accept insurance of any kind. We purposely keep testing off of your medical record because insurance companies sometimes raise rates based on the frequency of testing and/or the type of testing performed. Regardless, many insurance plans do not cover HIV and STD screenings. Some people prefer to have regular check-ups even without symptoms because infection with HIV and STDs can still be present. However, most insurance companies don’t view this type of screening as something that should be covered.
In the event you would like to submit a claim to your insurance company, we will provide an itemized receipt including all diagnosis and CPT codes necessary for reimbursement.
Do you price match?
Absolutely not. We feel that the industry of medical testing is not about undercutting the competition. We feel our prices are already fair and we know our prices are lower than most other lab testing services. Companies who offer to match or beat a competitor’s price are those that charge much higher prices to begin with. We ask this, why can these companies all of a sudden drop the price of their testing? If this can be done, then why not charge that lower price to all of your customers initially? One reason is because many of our competitor’s counselors receive commission based on the number of tests they set up. Not only does this explain the higher pricing, but it also explains the reason many of these counselors are setting people up for testing too soon, leading to inaccurate results. We do the same testing as every other lab testing service but our counselors do not receive commission. Therefore, they are under no pressure to set up a certain number of tests. Our job is simply to schedule our customers for the right testing at the right time.
How much does your testing cost?
The price of our testing varies from $79 up to $449, depending on what testing you need. Individual tests are available. If you have symptoms or have been exposed to a certain STD, we can set you up with a specific test. We also have several panels of testing available. A panel of testing is a group of tests many people choose when they are interested in a check-up. One of our counselors will be able to provide you with the exact price of the test(s) you choose.
Can I pay cash?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept cash. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We have several other options for payment. To review the types of payment we accept, please see our payment options section.
How will a charge from your company show up on my statement?
Transactions from our company will show up as Private Testing Center, Inc. on your bank or credit card statement. This is out of our control as it is the policy of our credit card processing company that our full name be used. If you are concerned about the way our charge will show, a pre-paid gift card is a discreet payment option we accept and one that is used often by our customers.
Does your testing show up on my medical record?
Our testing is confidential and will not appear on your medical record. The only personal information required is your name and date-of-birth. We do not require your address, phone number or social security number.
How do I get my results?
We provide results verbally; over the phone. We can either call you as soon as your results are ready or, if you prefer not to provide your phone number, you can call us. We can also email or mail your results if you prefer not to speak with us.
Do you provide treatment if I’m positive?
If you have a result come back positive for an STD that is curable, we will send you to a location to pick up medication. If you are positive for HIV or an STD for which there is no cure, we will set you up with the appropriate facility in your area for additional testing, counseling and treatment.