The only way to know your STD status is by getting tested. For minors, the difficulty and embarrassment that comes with getting a parent’s permission can prevent the minor from getting tested. This promotes the spread of STDs and bad sexual practices. For this reason, we are the only STD testing service to allow 16 and 17 year olds access to safe, accurate, and completely confidential STD testing without parental consent.
We offer hospital grade testing for the most common STDs, including HIV-1 and HIV-2, gonorrhea and chlamydia, syphilis, herpes simplex 1 and simplex 2, and hepatitis A, B, and C. All of our tests are available individually or as part of our all-inclusive 10 Test Panel package, which tests for all of the above. Tests are performed at our 4,500 nationwide CLIA-certified testing centers and always overseen by a physician.
Studies have shown that high school students will go without needed healthcare to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation with their parents. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Guttmacher Institute, information is available about the negative effects of requiring parental consent for STD testing, including the assertion that minors who are “infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and those who abuse drugs or alcohol or suffer from emotional or psychological problems may avoid seeking care if they must involve their parents.” This is why we give minors access to our FDA-approved / cleared, convenient, and confidential STD testing.
Yes. The provisions of the The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) state that every individual has the right to control who has access to their personal health information. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in the case of minors and STD testing,
HIPAA applies “when the minor has the right to consent to health care and has consented, such as when a minor has consented to treatment of an STD under a state minor consent law.” We abide by the HIPAA Privacy Rule, so your information stays safe and your results remain private.
In short, yes. While some states have a specific age of consent (usually between 12 and 14 years old), minors are allowed to test for STDs in all 50 states in the U.S. Furthermore, although 18 states give physicians the right to report that a minor is attempting to take an STD test, no state requires that parents be notified (except Iowa, in the event of a positive HIV result). The Guttamacher Institute compiled a thorough state-by-state breakdown of the laws affecting minors who are seeking STD testing, which can be found here: Minors’ Access to STI Services.
Call us 24 hours 7 days a week at 1-800-456-2323 if you have any questions about STD testing for minors. Our Care Advisors are available to assist you. You can also use our online physician approved STD Test Recommender to choose the test that is best for you.
For more information about sexually transmitted diseases, go to our STD Basics page.
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