As we've previously covered in our (potentially ongoing) series of comparisons of knō to other methods to test for STDs (see: knō vs. Urgent Care) today we'll be exploring one of our favorite institutions - Planned Parenthood.
While Planned Parenthood is far more than just a clinic where people can go to get tested for STDs - they also offer a flurry of other services ranging from LGBTQ+ services, menopausal hormone therapy, trans/nb hormone therapy, abortion treatments (where permitted), and cancer screenings - to name some.
But we're not here (entirely) to talk about how much we LOVE Planned Parenthood - we're here to compare our services to theirs so you can make the most informed decision possible with regard to your sexual wellness.
Let's get into it.
Type of Testing Offered
This is a bit of a difficult comparison to make as Planned Parenthood does - in fact - have physical clinics where they administer testing. Why does this matter? Well, it means that they have certain capabilities that we - as an at-home test - don't.
Ultimately, this doesn't mean that one is either better or worse - just different. For example, Planned Parenthood does offer rapid HIV testing which can provide results for those getting tested in roughly 20 minutes - something that's particularly helpful for those who think they may have been exposed to HIV and want to test quickly.
For their other STD screenings - however - it's a bit more complicated (sort of). While knō tries to approach screenings with something of a "one size fits all" model, Planned Parenthood takes a more clinical approach and will generally prescribe tests based on a number of determining factors.
While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does leave a small margin of chance with regard to screening.
For example - an asymptomatic person who's low risk may not be recommended to perform a thorough testing regimen - potentially leaving opportunity for a person to continue to carry an infection that they are asymptomatic for. While knō - on the other hand - approaches testing by screening for the following all at once:
- Herpes 1
- Herpes 2
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Mycoplasma Genitalium
What does Planned Parenthood mean when they say "Low cost or free STI testing"
Pricing for testing at any clinic is always going to vary slightly - as we've discussed - based on a number of determining factors. Planned Parenthood, for example, states that the cost for STD testing can range from $0-250 (did we mention ours is $169?) depending on the STDs being tested for, whether or not an exam is necessary, whether or not someone is exhibiting symptoms, etc.
While we did shamelessly throw in our price above as a comparison - it wouldn't be fair to not point out the reason why our price is so appealing, and of course justify the cost for our friends at Planned Parenthood.
The most note-able difference - of course - being that knō is meant as a regular screening method - not for detection. What does that mean? Simple. If you're exhibiting symptoms, or think you've been exposed, or otherwise need medical attention - knō isn't for you.
What is so beautiful about Planned Parenthood is that they'll provide you with the care you need - for whatever circumstances you're currently facing; and beyond. And that, of course, costs money sometimes.
We, however, just want to help you get laid.
Insurance coverage & payment plans
While this potentially could be the most complicated portion of this article, the reality is that we can't really get into it. knō isn't currently covered by any insurance - we are priced to be accessible without it. For Planned Parenthood, the answer is a choose your own adventure situation. Check with your insurance provider (they do accept Medicaid and Medicare) and they'll know better that we do. That said - there is a possibility that your cost with insurance at Planned Parenthood might be $0 and some Planned Parenthood centers may also offer payment plans or a sliding scale fee, which can help make testing more affordable for those who cannot afford to pay the full cost upfront (loves it, and we're working on it ourselves).
Confidentiality with results
Possibly the place where knō & Planned Parenthood have the most in common, neither of us will ever share your test results or any sensitive information with anyone but you without your permission. While there are very strict regulations that prevent anyone from doing so anyway - doing so would just be really messed up so we wouldn't ever do it even if we could.
When do you get results?
We did mention already that with rapid HIV testing - results can be available within as little as 20 minutes; which is incredible. With other testing methods, however, Planned Parenthood is more or less beholden to the same limitations and lab processes as we are. What does this mean? Exactly what it says on the Planned Parenthood website,
"But some tests take a few days or weeks to come back from a lab."
knō - while fast - is not intended as an emergency test, or otherwise to be used to confirm infections or be used by those exhibiting symptoms or potentially exposed. We understand that these things happen, but knō is specifically for those intending to regularly screen for STIs as a part of their sexual wellness practice.
What does this have to do with results time? Well, it means that with ordering a test, collecting your sample, and sending the sample to our labs - it might take a week (maybe two) to receive your results. We ship same day, and our labs turn around samples quickly, but if you're in a rush - by all means see a doctor.
Wrapping it up
Our sexual wellness is not a one size fits all situation - and Planned Parenthood is a fantastic service that we've personally used - and support others utilizing however they can (or need to). Ultimately, we want everyone to get tested and it doesn't matter if it's with us, Planned Parenthood, or some other third thing (that is obviously safe & regulated - duh). Find the service that's not just right for you, but right for your budget, your lifestyle, and your current sexual wellness status.