[Question #4965] Follow up to Question #4897

26 months ago
Hello Doctors,

This is a follow up on my initial questions asked here on the group.
I asked the guy to get his STI screen done. Since he is new to the US and didn't have health insurance, he did a 10 test panel. However, he found this online on a website called STDCheck.com that is affiliated to HealthLabs.com. The website directed him to Quest Diagnostics to have his blood drawn and tested. All the tests came back normal. We received the reports online on his account with STDCheck.com. I would like to know how legit are these tests, since they were ordered online? 
Also, are there any chance of the needles being reused here at Quest Diagnostic Labs?
26 months ago
Is receiving results from this website reliable? The reports say Quest Diagnostics at the top, but i was able to access them only through STDCheck.com.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
26 months ago
*Sigh* Sorry you still are so worried about this very low risk event. Even with a bite or other lip wound, the chance of getting HIV by kissing an HIV infected person probably is under 1 in a million. Think of the billions of kisses that must have occurred between HIV infected and uninfected persons, and the frequency of various cuts and sores of mouth or lips, and yet no proved HIV transmissions known to have occurred.

But getting to your specific question, we have no way of knowing or monitoring the reliability of the several online STD testing services. But in general, they all seem to use reliable labs with high quality standards, like Quest. And the blood tests in "comprehensive" or 10-test STD panels all are highly automated and not subject to error. For sure this is true for HIV testing. In other words, you can rely on your kissing partner's negative test results.

And for sure Quest and all other labs do not re-use needles. Blood drawing equipment these days is almost impossible to re-use anyway. Even 30 years ago, before such devices were in common use, there were no reported cases of HIV acquired because of how blood was collected -- for sure this never happened in the US. Having blood drawn is not and never was an HIV risk in the US.

My final comment is that the nature of your questions, your fears of HIV despite non-exposure events that most people don't worry about, and the need to ask a third question on this forum all suggest to me that you may be germophobic, at least in regard to HIV and perhaps other STDs. If fears of nonsexual exposures to HIV dominate your thinking or are continously worrisome, please consider professional counseling. Such fears can be an early sign of potentially serious mental health disabilities (see "The Aviator", the film biography of Howard Hughes) (and a great movie, by the way, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett). if these are just fleeing thoughts not dominating your life, I wouldn't worry about it -- but I raise the issue from compassion, not criticism.

In any case, this will have to be your last question along these lines. Repeated anxiety driven questions on the same topic are discouraged, and eventually we stop answering at all and delete the question without reimbursement of the posting fee. Thanks for your understanding.

HHH, MD
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