Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Do I need a doctor’s order for STD tests?

Yes — and we do this for you! Our doctors issue the testing order for you – you simply print out the order and take it to the lab. The flat price (no hidden fees) includes everything that you need.

Do I need to fast before taking an STD test?

No. There’s no fasting or special preparation for any of our tests. Just print out your test order and bring it to the lab with you.

How private is your service?

Your health and privacy are our top priorities. You will receive confidential STD testing and all your information is secure. In addition, (1) your results will not be placed on your insurance record, (2) “PlushCare” will appear on your credit card statement - we provide urgent care for all types of conditions (sinus infection, cold/flu, sore throat, etc) thus nobody will be able to tell from your credit card statement why you had a visit, and (3) the laboratories test for a variety of diseases and conditions thus when you walk into the lab, no one in the waiting room will know why you are there.

When will I receive my results?

Your test results will be available within 3 business days or less.

What if I test positive for an STD?

If you have tested positive for an STD, our doctors are available to consult with you by phone, and he or she can electronically send a prescription to your local pharmacy for treatment, if necessary.

Can I pay with my HSA or FSA account?

Yes. We accept payment through Health Savings (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).

What kind of test is the HIV test?

The HIV test recommended by our expert doctors is a 4th generation HIV 1 & 2 Antigen and Antibody test. It can detect infection as early as 2-4 weeks from the time of infection. It specifically tests for antibodies to HIV and also tests for the p24 antigen.

Can I order the "early detection" HIV test?

The "early detection" HIV test can detect HIV as early as 7-14 days after infection but may take up to 4 weeks to turn positive. This test is expensive, so please call us if you you would like to have it ordered.

What kind of test is the Hepatitis C test?

The hepatitis C test checks for Hepatitis C antibodies in your blood. If positive, these results are confirmed with a hepatitis C RNA PCR test which tests for the virus in your blood.

What kind of test is the Hepatitis B test?

The hepatitis B test checks for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). If positive, it indicates you have an active hepatitis B infection.

What kind of test is the Herpes test?

The herpes test is an antibody test for Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2. It tests for an IgG antibody to the viruses that cause oral and genital herpes and it can be detected as early as 2 weeks from exposure.

Can a Gonorrhea lab test diagnose oral Gonorrhea?

To determine whether you have oral gonorrhea you need a swab of your throat, something we hope to offer in the future. If you are worried you may have oral gonorrhea, you should seek in-person care for diagnosis and treatment.

Will taking antibiotics affect my test results?

It depends. Some antibiotics might be treating the infections we are testing for. For specific information on which antibiotics might affect the testing and what to do about it, our physicians are able to consult with you prior to testing, book an appointment today!

If I tested negative and had a very recent possible exposure , do I need to retest again?

For most tests, if you don't have symptoms and your testing was done 2-4 weeks after the exposure, you likely have nothing to worry about. If you are tested less than 4 weeks from the exposure and you want to be 100% certain, then you should be retested after the 4 weeks. In general, the longer you wait from exposure to testing, the more accurate the results are likely to be - this is true for up to about 3 months after an exposure.

Why do you perform the HSV IgG test rather than than the HSV IgM test for Herpes?

The HSV IgG tests are the only tests recommended by the CDC and other expert physician organizations. The HSV IgM test is not recommended because it is often inaccurate and can not distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2. If you are IgG negative and worried about a recent infection, we recommend getting retested 4-6 weeks after the initial exposure.

If I have a negative test, but I have symptoms, what should I do?

If you have symptoms, you should book a consult with one of our doctors or see your doctor for evaluation. No test is 100% accurate or you may have a condition that was not tested for.

What are the charges for STD testing services?

When you order labs with PlushCare, your charge covers the cost of the physician services for consultation on your case including the time spent interpreting and reviewing your results, and any followup that is needed for positive results.

Can I make an appointment for my testing, or should I just walk into the lab?

You can choose either! Quest Diagnostics labs take walk-ins during their business hours. Alternatively, you can book an appointment here: http://www.questdiagnostics.com/home/patients.html

PrEP for HIV FAQs

Can PlushCare prescribe PrEP?

Yes! All PlushCare doctors can prescribe you PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). If you think you might want to take PrEP, book an appointment with one of our doctors today. They can answer all of your questions about PrEP and advise on a treatment plan that is best for you.

Does PrEP work if I think I was just exposed to HIV?

PrEP is preventative. It is NOT for taking after you are exposed to HIV. Rather, PrEP is taken daily in order to prevent HIV before you are exposed. Another medicine regimen, called PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), can be prescribed and works if you take it within 72 hours of an exposure, so act fast. Get an appointment with one of our doctors to get PEP, or get to an ER immediately if you have been exposed and ask about PEP.

Can PlushCare prescribe PEP (post exposure prophylaxis)?

Yes! If you were exposed to HIV, our doctors can prescribe PEP. Our doctors can order HIV testing, prescribe PEP, and order a repeat test to make sure you stay negative.

Who can take PrEP?

PrEP is for people who are HIV negative, are over 18 years of age, and meet one or more of the following criteria: (a) Don’t use condoms every time, (b) Have sex with multiple partners, (c) Have had STDs before, once or multiple times, (d) Have a partner who is HIV positive or is of unknown status, (e) Inject recreational drugs, or (f) Are trying to get pregnant with an HIV positive partner. PrEP isn’t for everyone, but for those at risk it is a safe and effective way to prevent HIV. Don’t take PrEP unless you were prescribed it by a physician. Speak with our doctors today if you have questions.

Who shouldn’t take PrEP?

PrEP is not for people who are HIV positive or have recent symptoms of a new HIV infection. If you think you have symptoms of HIV, or are unsure, book an appointment with one of our doctors, or see another doctor, to get treatment immediately. PrEP is more risky or not recommended for people who have severe kidney disease, osteoporosis, chronic hepatitis B, or pregnant women. Talk to one of our doctors about getting on PrEP or finding another treatment plan that is appropriate for you.

Why should I take a pill every day to prevent HIV?

For someone who is at risk for getting HIV, taking a pill a day is a small price to pay for preventing HIV. Just like women preventing pregnancy by taking a birth control pill, you can prevent HIV by taking PrEP every day.

Does PrEP prevent other STDs?

PrEP does NOT prevent other STDs. Wearing condoms every time is the most effective way of preventing most STDs.

How well does PrEP work?

PrEP, when taken every day, is 99% effective in preventing HIV. You can learn about the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) review of the clinical trials and studies that enabled FDA approval of PrEP.

Besides the pill, what else do I have to do to get PrEP?

Taking the pill daily, getting tested for HIV and other blood work once every 3 months, and seeing a doctor regularly are all necessary parts of PrEP.

More questions about PrEP?

Visit our Urgent Care FAQ for more information on PrEP, the treatment plan, and how to pay for PrEP (insured or not insured). Or call us at 1-800-221-5140 and we'll be happy to answer your questions.