Available nationwide through QuestDirect, the new services link consumer-initiated testing with medical oversight and counsel to help combat the nation’s record rate of STDs.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today launched three new sexually transmitted disease (STD) laboratory test packages that individuals can purchase online for some of the most prevalent STDs in the United States. The new STD test packages are the first to be offered directly by Quest Diagnostics or any other major national laboratory to allow individuals to purchase tests at their discretion. These new packages have been designed to meet the needs of individuals who want accurate basic or comprehensive STD testing.
The services are available at QuestDirect.QuestDiagnostics.com.
The new services are designed to empower individuals to access STD screening when they are reluctant to engage their healthcare provider directly. Research by Quest Diagnostics shows that patients and healthcare providers often fail to discuss sexual behavior and STD risk. According to a survey commissioned by Quest, 51 percent of females age 18-24 years say they don’t want to bring up for discussion the topics of sex or STDs with their clinicians and 49 percent claim their clinician has never asked if they want STD testing.
Rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have climbed for four consecutive years in the U.S. and are at epidemic levels, with nearly 2.3 million cases of diagnosed STDs in 2017 alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of all new STD cases are acquired by young people between the ages of 15-24, and one in four sexually active adolescents has a sexually transmitted disease.
“Too many people are not being screened for STDs, and one reason is reluctance to discuss risk with healthcare providers,” said Damian “Pat” Alagia, III, MD, FACOG, FACS, an OB/GYN and medical director of woman’s health for Quest Diagnostics. “Services that empower individuals to access STD testing extend physician-based care so more people can receive the evaluation and treatment they need.”
Clinical Grade Testing Made Easy
The STD test services are available in 45 states starting today through QuestDirect, an enhanced online consumer-initiated testing service provided by Quest Diagnostics to empower patients to manage and take control of their healthcare by purchasing health and wellness lab testing from the convenience of their home.1 Test results are available on MyQuest, the company’s secure patient portal accessible on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop, typically within a week, and may be shared with the individual’s own physician.
Licensed physicians provide oversight for all lab tests, based upon the information that individuals provide to Quest. This includes ordering tests, if appropriate, and evaluating results once available. Individuals have the opportunity to speak with a physician to discuss any of the lab results. These physicians may provide treatment for certain conditions in some states and recommend further medical follow-up.
“Our research shows consumers believe that the ability to purchase certain tests and receive results would facilitate better communication with their physicians and improve their health. Greater access to accurate testing, diagnoses, and treatment is particularly critical in sexual and reproductive health, where medications can often quickly cure many common STDs,” said Cathy Doherty, senior vice president and group executive, clinical franchise solutions and marketing, Quest Diagnostics. “With these services, Quest is meeting consumers where they are, empowering them to access and take actions from diagnostic insights to improve their health.”
QuestDirect provides the convenience of access to the company’s national network of 2,250 patient service centers and uses the same clinical-grade lab technology and STD test services physicians order on behalf of patients. The packages include tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea, trichomonas, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Individual STD tests begin at $49 and the new STD test packages beginning at $199.
Many STDs are asymptomatic for various people, so infected individuals may be unaware they are infected and unknowingly spread disease to partners. Untreated, some STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain, and infertility in both women and men; untreated HIV can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
The new services are the latest addition to the company’s QuestDirect offerings. Launched in November 2018, QuestDirect now offers more than 35 individual tests and test packages focused on general health, men’s and women’s health, digestive health, heart health, infectious disease and sexually transmitted disease testing.
Quest Diagnostics has long been a leader in the movement for consumer empowerment in healthcare. The company has been a strong advocate in the effort to provide patients with direct access to lab testing. The company further expanded convenient access to testing services through its collaborations with Safeway and Walmart, and has approximately 200 patient service centers in retail store locations. Additionally, Quest performs genotyping test services on behalf of Ancestry’s AncestryDNA, a service that today identifies and quantifies an individual’s ethnic origins based on results of DNA testing. Blueprint Fit, the first athlete-specific direct-to-consumer service from Quest Diagnostics, includes an at-home, self-collection option.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our 46,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.
Quest, Quest Diagnostics and all associated Quest Diagnostics registered or unregistered trademarks are the property of Quest Diagnostics.
1 Available in OK, AZ and IN through joint venture partners Sonora Quest, Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma, and Mid America Clinical Laboratories. Not available in HI or AK.