How safe are STI home tests?


Checking the different STI test options

Are you active in matters of love and want to take care of your sexual health with self-confidence and personal responsibility? Are you toying with the idea of testing yourself at home for an infection with an STI such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV (STI for short), but are still unsure which test suits you and is the safest? Don’t worry, we at s.a.m health are here to help you.

Self-tests for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV: convenient and discreet

With a home test for HIV and STIs, you can test yourself from 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 major differences in the test and analysis methods, which can influence the validity of the results – and an incorrect test result can have serious consequences.

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Overview of different STI home tests

The home test as a quick test (without laboratory evaluation)

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


As the name suggests, this test is unbeatable in terms of speed. You can read the results within 10 to 30 minutes. It is discreet and easy to integrate into everyday life.


A test in a professional laboratory is always more accurate and safer than a rapid test for sexually transmitted diseases carried out at home. The analyzers in the laboratory are more precise. However, errors can also occur when carrying out the test. And as a newcomer, it is often not so easy to interpret the result correctly.

The home test with laboratory evaluation

This type of STD test is the perfect combination of convenience and reliability. You take the samples yourself at home, send them to the laboratory and receive a reliable test result at the highest medical level. Ideally, you should receive instructions on how to take and send in the samples correctly.


You can take the sample discreetly at home and save yourself a trip to the doctor. Above all, however, the samples are analyzed in the laboratory at the highest medical level. And by sending the samples directly to the laboratory, you will usually receive the results much faster than with a conventional visit to the doctor.


Mistakes can be made when taking the samples. It is therefore important to receive instructions on how to take and send in the samples correctly.

Carrying out 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 commonly used:

Blood sample

Prick your fingertip with a small lancet to take a blood sample. It is important that you take a certain amount of blood. This procedure is used for HIV and syphilis tests.

Urine sample

Collect some urine, ideally the first portion of the day. This procedure is used for chlamydia and gonorrhea (gonorrhea) tests.

What you should consider when self-testing for STIs

Selection of the product

Choose only approved and safe HIV self-tests. CE-certified HIV rapid tests with blood samples are comparable in accuracy to laboratory tests. Avoid rapid HIV tests that use saliva or urine as they are unreliable. There are no reliable rapid tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia – the Robert Koch Institute advises against their use.

Correct execution

The correct use of the test is crucial. Follow the instructions in the package leaflet exactly. Ideally, you will receive expert instruction on how to carry out and evaluate the self-test correctly. However, please note that personal advice is often not offered on site.

Interpretation of the results

After blood or urine has been taken, the test results must be interpreted, which is not always easy for laypeople. Incorrect interpretations can easily lead to falsified test results.

Comparison of rapid test vs. home test with laboratory evaluation

Home tests as rapid tests
Home tests with laboratory evaluation

Type of samples
HIV tests carried out with saliva or urine are inaccurate in their results.
The HIV home tests should have EU approval (CE mark). Blood plasma or serum is suitable for analysis.

InfectionsThe tests must be purchased individually. It can only be tested for one specific sexually transmitted disease at a time.The home test with laboratory evaluation is available as a test kit for various STIs (e.g. HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis).
ExecutionIndependently at home
Independently at home, ideally with prior instruction

Evaluation and transmission of resultsThe test person can read the result independently after 10 to 30 minutes, e.g. by means of a color change on a test strip. Misinterpretations are possible, e.g. failure to recognize a color or confusion between control and test strips. Only the pure HIV test provides a reliable result. The home test for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis offers poor test results according to medical standards.The analysis is carried out in the laboratory. The results are then transmitted discreetly. The test results are classified as safe based on the evaluation in the laboratory. Standardized, state-of-the-art medical test procedures are used for laboratory tests. Counseling options for testing and reactive results vary.
Recommendation for actionIf the result is positive, the test person is left to their own devices.Depending on the offer, there is the possibility of a consultation on the treatment options.

s.a.m health: the combination of an STI home test with professional laboratory analysis and confidential advice

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

Further detailed information on sexually transmitted diseases and testing, diagnosis and treatment options can be found on the website of Deutsche Aidshilfe.

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📲 Knowing your STI status is sexy

Should you get tested for sexually transmitted diseases?

The probability of contracting a sexually transmitted disease increases with the number of sexual partners. Most show no symptoms for a long time, but can also be transmitted without symptoms and have long-term consequences.

Regular testing for STIs is the only way to be safe.

Which sexually transmitted diseases should you get tested for?

What does it make sense to test for? And which ones not? The selection of tests is large. We offer STI tests for the four most common STIs that require treatment:

Our former medical consultant explains further in our article which sexually transmitted diseases should you be tested for?

Would you like to take control of your own body and your love life and carry out the HIV and STI home test from the comfort of your own home? This is possible with s.a.m health! Don’t wait, start your path to a safe, self-determined and active sex life now.

Sources: Epidemiological Bulletin (5/2012) Emis final report MSM 2010

Sexuelle Gesundheit. Dein Weg.

Unser diskretes Versandtestkit bietet Labortests auf HIV, Syphilis, Tripper (Gonorrhö) und Chlamydien.