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STDWatch
Hannah Kingston

Mar 25, 20227 min read

Why are my STD results taking so long

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Waiting for STD test results can lead to anxiety and worrying, especially if you feel like your results are taking too long. So if you’ve been wondering “How long do blood std test results take? ”, just keep reading.

How long does it take for STD blood test results to come back?

There isn’t a single answer to this question, since different tests for different sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can have different turnaround times. But just how fast can STD results come back?

Rapid tests only take a few minutes to show an accurate result, and they’re available for a variety of STDs, including:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Hepatitis B
  • HPV
  • Herpes

Other tests may take days or even a few weeks to be processed, such as urine tests and cultures. In some cases, rapid test results need to be confirmed using a different test that may take longer.

In some cases, STD testing turnaround time can take longer due to other reasons, such as an overload of samples that increases processing times. Ask your testing provider for their usual STD testing results time frame while getting tested.

Labs or testing providers will typically contact you personally if your test results come back positive, or if there’s a problem with your samples. But as Planned Parenthood reminds us, you shouldn’t assume that your test results are normal if the lab doesn’t contact you first. If your test results are taking longer than expected, it may be a good idea to check in with the lab to make sure everything is okay.

How accurate are STD blood tests?

As long as you get your STD tests from a reputable testing provider, modern STD blood tests are highly accurate. As a general rule, blood tests tend to be the most accurate type of STD testing for most infections. 

Frequently asked questions: STD tests

Can an STD blood test be wrong?

Yes, although it’s rare. In some cases, an STD test can return a false negative or false positive result. That’s why in many cases, different tests will be used to confirm a diagnosis.

Can STDs go undetected in tests?

Modern STD tests have high sensitivity and specificity rates, but it’s not impossible for an STD to go undetected due to a false negative result. That’s why it’s so important to get tested through reputable providers, and to get regular testing if you’re sexually active.

Are lab STD tests 100% accurate?

No test is 100% accurate, although modern STD testing is very precise. Two parameters known as specificity and sensitivity are used to determine the accuracy of each STD test.

What causes false negative STD tests?

You can get a false negative STD result if you get tested before the incubation period, an incubation period is the time between the initial infection and the onset of symptoms, or when the infection becomes detectable. False negatives can also happen when the sample is inadequate, which is more common with at-home STD testing kits.

You can learn more about at-home STD tests and other reproductive health topics at STDWatch.com.

Sources:

How does STD testing work? - plannedparenthood.org

Incubation Time - sciencedirect.com


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