At Home STD Testing vs. Laboratory Testing

With the rise in sexually transmitted infections, at-home test kits have become quite popular. While they are a convenient solution that allows you to get tested in the comfort and privacy of your own home, it’s important to assess the reliability and accuracy of these test kits.

Are at home std tests as accurate as lab tests?

At-home test kits typically require you to collect a sample—such as urine, blood from a finger prick, or a swab of genital areas—which you then send to a lab for analysis. The accuracy of these tests can be high, especially if the instructions are followed carefully. However, the chance of user error in sample collection can affect the test's reliability. Lab tests, on the other hand, are conducted in a professional setting by healthcare providers which tend to be more accurate due to the controlled environment for sample collection and the expertise of the medical staff. Labs also have access to more sophisticated testing technologies, which can detect lower levels of disease markers than some at-home tests. Given that many STDs may not show symptoms which can lead to long-term health risks, TeleTest opts not to provide at-home test kits. Our priority is to ensure the highest accuracy in test results and immediate treatment access when necessary.


One common reason patients opt for test kits is to avoid the long wait times at clinics in Canada which many have to take time out of their busy work day to attend. At TeleTest, we offer same-day appointments at a time that’s convenient for you; many patients can get an appointment right away. After the appointment, the requisition is automatically faxed to a lab of your choosing so you can get tested immediately, which means no waiting for test kits to ship nor an extra trip to the pharmacy to purchase.

As most kits require you to send the results into a lab for analysis, you end up having to wait the same amount of time if not longer for results. We realize the urgency of results so we track turn around times for every lab in Ontario, enabling patients to find the quickest lab in their vicinity. As soon as the lab processes your results, they are automatically uploaded to your profile, no need to wait for a call-back from the clinic. Typically, patients receive their results within 1-2 days.

For those testing positive, a visit at the clinic is usually necessary for treatment. At TeleTest, you can either wait for your test results or get prescribed medication right away. Your prescription is automatically faxed to a pharmacy of your choosing so you can go right after your appointment. Should you opt to wait, a follow-up appointment is included with your purchase to address any questions and concerns.


Privacy is the other common reason patients prefer test kits. We realize STIs are a sensitive matter and therefore we offer private testing. We do not notify nor share results with your doctor and periodically delete all results from our servers. If you want additional privacy, you have the option to exclude your OHIP health card information so that results are not tied to you. See our policy on private / semi-anonymous testing.

While at home test kits may seem like the convenient option, TeleTest offers similar convenience with the accuracy of lab testing and immediate treatment. See our FAQ for more information on STD testing with TeleTest