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Difference between Public (Free) & Private (Pay) STD Testing

By STD Concern

The main differences between Public & Private testing are CostsPrivacy & Insurance. With a Public Clinic, Testing & Treatments are free but with Private testing you Pay. With Public testing you don’t have much Privacy but with Private testing it's Discreet and Confidential. Also Private Testing Services usually will Not accept Private Health Insurance. 

1. Public Testing (Free)

Going to a Public Health Clinic for a STD Test & Treatment will cost you nothing but expect some sort of STD Education in a classroom and a possible Lecture if you "Test Positive." Plus you can expect these officials to contact past and present sexual partners if you test positive (it's their job). Because of this friends and family might find out about your STI.

These clinics are usually run by public health departments and owned & operated by state or local governments. They basically do a good job. It will usually require you to go to their Test Center to take a blood, urine or saliva test than wait a few days for the results.

These public health clinics might also have At-Home Testing Kits available.

PROS and CONS of using Public Testing


  • Testing is Free.
  • Treatments are Free.
  • Professional People.
  • Peace of mind.


  • First Come First Serve. (Get in line).
  • Expect a Lecture if you Test Positive. (All depends)
  • Expect STD Education in a classroom whether you test positive or not.
  • Test results are not Private. (It's up to them)

Note: You can avoid Complications if your STI is Detected & Treated!

2. Private Testing (Pay)

If you want to use a Private Testing Service, you will have to pay for the Test and Treatment. Health Insurance will probably not cover this kind of testing. Private testing is thorough and affordable if you choose the right one. 


This usually requires you to go to a Private Lab for a blood, urine or salvia test and then wait a few days for results. If you test positive you will have the option to talk to their doctors if you want about treatments and have them sent to your local pharmacy (if possible).


You can buy an STD Home Test Kit and have it sent to your residence. You will then provide a urine, saliva, or a blood sample by pricking your finger. Then you send it back to them and wait so many days. They also provide access to a doctor if tested positive and the ability to write prescriptions (own discretion) and have them sent to your local Pharmacy.

PROS and CONS of using Private Testing


  • Fast & Discreet Process.
  • Test Results are Private & Confidential.
  • No Lecture if you Test Positive.
  • No Mandatory STD Education if Test Positive or Not.
  • Get Tested at Home or Lab Near You.
  • No Doctor Visit required (at-Home or at-Lab testing).
  • No Lab Visit (at-Home Tests)
  • Doctor Consultation on Phone if you Test Positive (Optional).
  • Professional People.
  • Peace of mind.


  • You pay for Testing.
  • You pay for Treatments.

3. Family Doctor (Pay)

Going to your family Doctor for STD Testing might be a good decision for you because this person would know your medical history and administering treatments could be easier. The testing would take place at their lab and would either be blood, urine, or saliva.

But if your uncomfortable talking about your symptoms to your Doctor and their Nurse in person and on the phone then going to your doctor might be an issue. Does Health Insurance cover STD testing? Probably not, read your plan. Test Results might not be Private (All depends).

PROS and CONS of using your Family Doctor


  • Fast Process.
  • They know your medical history.
  • Peace of mind.
  • Doctor Consultation before and after Testing. (Probably)


  • Expect to pay for Testing.
  • Expect pay for Treatments.
  • Expect your Doctor or Nurse to ask difficult questions if you test positive.


All three options work, so choose the one your most comfortable with and can afford. Remember you can avoid complications if your STI is detected and treated. In order to receive propter treatment, testing is required.



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Note: In order to receive Proper Treatment, testing is required.

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