Frequently Asked Questions

In the sections below you will find answers to common STI-related questions. Is your question not listed? Contact [email protected].

Step 1: Order
Choose and order your test online. All of our home tests ship in 100% discreet packaging.

Step 2: Sample collection
Most of the Homed-IQ tests take less than five minutes of your time to complete. However, this will vary depending on what you’re testing for. Every package includes an instruction manual and the designated sample collection kit. Please follow the instructions closely.

Step 3: Results
As soon as you have returned your sample, a certified laboratory will perform the diagnostics. The test results can be shared with you once our in-house medical team reviewed your test outcomes. Once completed, you will receive an email notification that your results are ready. All Homed-IQ test results are lab-certified and can be shared with your General practitioner if desired.

Once your order is complete, your Homed-IQ test package will be shipped within two business days. As soon as you return your test sample to our partner laboratory, they will be able to process it typically within 3 business days (depending on the test you’ve ordered). Generally, the testing process will take approximately 5-7 business days.

Your test results will have the same level of accuracy as if tested through your physician or care provider.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to assist you. Send us an email at [email protected] with your question. Do you have a question about your order? Please also state your order number. You can also use the contact form on our website.

Have you tested positive for an STI? Be sure to inform your recent sex partners. This is how you make sure they avoid serious complications from an untreated STI, prevent passing the STI to others, and prevent passing the STI back to you (if you are still having sex).

It is usually advised to tell the people you have had sex within the past 6 months. However, sometimes it is also necessary to tell partners from longer ago. Speak to your GP about who you should inform.

You may be nervous about telling someone you’re having sex with that you have an STI. You can do this in several ways:

  • Telling them yourself via a phone, email or in-person conversation 
  • Anonymously warn them via  (in the Netherlands) or (in Germany). Using these services you can tell someone to get tested without making your identity known.
  • Ask your GP or the nurse at an STI clinic to let people you have had sex with know that you have an STI


Whichever method you use to choose, it is a good idea to inform past partners about STIs. They can then get tested and treated if necessary.

Your test results come with an explanation of the results as well as a downloadable laboratory report. This report can be taken to a GP to receive a prescription for treatment.

For individuals in the Netherlands who have tested positive for chlamydia, our medical team can provide prescriptions for treatment if a visit to the doctor is not possible. In that case, our doctor will ask you by email to complete a questionnaire so that they can then send you a prescription to a pharmacy in your area. For treating other STIs, please contact a doctor.

STIs do not always cause symptoms. In fact, many STIs do not cause any symptoms at all.  To ensure your test result is accurate, always wait to get tested until the window period has passed. The window period is the time between when you were infected with an STI and when it is detectable with a test. To see the window period for each STI, read our blog: “When can you be tested for an STI?

If you have tested negative for an STI before the window period is over, it is recommended to get tested again after the window period. 


The incubation period is sometimes confused with the window period. The incubation period is the time between when an individual is exposed to an infection and when they begin showing symptoms. This is different from the window period, which is the time between when an individual is exposed to an infection and when a test can reliably detect the infection. It is important to consider the window period for each STI when getting tested in order to guarantee the most reliable test results.

In the Netherlands, young people can get tested for free at the GGD until the age of 25 if they fall into a risk group. Are you older than 25, are the waiting times at sexual health clinics, too long, or do you want to get tested quickly and easily from home? Then you can get tested at your GP or with Homed-IQ’s self-tests. Complete the STI Test Guide to find out which Sexual Health Test is right for you.

Homed-IQ’s STI tests offer the same laboratory-certified results you would receive if you had an STI test done through your GP or a sexual health clinic. Homed-IQ works with the same labs that provide tests for clinics, and strives to provide your results quickly and confidentially. STI rapid tests that are available at e.g. the drugstore are often not reliable and may result in a false negative or false positive result.

In the Netherlands, it is possible to get tested for free at the GGD until the age of 25 or if you fall into a risk group. Individuals older than 25 or who are not in a risk group can get tested at the GP or using a home test such as what Homed-IQ offers. While home STI testing is an alternative way to perform a laboratory test, it does not replace the advice of a doctor. Homed-IQ is unable to offer physical examinations, prescribe treatment (other than chlamydia treatment for Dutch customers), or provide follow-up STI care. If you test positive for an STI using a Homed-IQ test, take your test result to your GP for further advice and follow-up.

No, at this time Homed-IQ does not have any reimbursement agreements with health insurers. In the Netherlands, if you test through the GGD because you fall into a risk group, testing for an STI is free. The cost of testing for STIs at the GP will be deducted from your health insurance deductible (own risk). The coverage of subsequent costs depends on your health insurance. Ask your health insurance company what exactly is covered.

Are you not in a risk group or is it too busy at the GGD? Then you can test at your GP or with Homed-IQ. Currently, Homed-IQ has no agreements with health insurers.

All Homed-IQ self-sampling tests are scientifically certified for home use. This means they have been tested to see if the results of samples taken at home are as accurate as samples taken in a lab or doctor’s office. It is not allowed to sell unvalidated medical tests. Furthermore, our medical team reviews all results and is available to answer any questions from our customers.

No, this test can be completed entirely from home. If you have tested positive, require medical advice, or have tested negative but are experiencing symptoms, take the test results to your doctor for follow-up care.

Our self-sampling tests are completely approved for home use. The tests have been validated by our lab to see if the results from samples taken at home are as accurate as samples taken in a doctor’s office or clinic. It is only legal to sell validated medical tests.

Each Homed-IQ test is processed in a laboratory that is ISO15189 certified, which enables us to guarantee the reliability of all our tests.

All Homed-IQ tests are entirely anonymous and do not require any direct contact with your GP. 

The biggest advantage of this test is that you can easily take the test yourself at home. Using a self-test, you do not have to visit your GP or a clinic and still can obtain laboratory-certified, fast test results. With Homed-IQ, you may test yourself completely anonymously and perform the test at a time that suits you best.

Would you like to test the throat or anus area for STIs? This is done through a swab test. Not all STIs can be detected using a swab test- for other tests you will need to take a urine sample, vaginal swab, or a blood sample. If you are interested in doing a throat or anal STI test, complete our STI Test Guide to see which STIs you are recommended to test for and which test products are recommended. Do you have questions about how to take each type of test? Find instructional videos on how to take a test sample in the blog: “Taking an STI test“.

Homed-IQ test kits do not have customer names or information on them for privacy reasons. This means in order to link your test to your account, you must activate the test using the unique 12-digit test code before mailing it to the lab. The laboratory cannot process your test results or send them to you unless your test is activated.

If you have many or often changing sexual partners, or if you meet certain risk factors for HIV and/or other STIs, we advise you to get tested every six months. For example, because you are a sex worker. Additionally, you should consider getting tested if you’ve had or are considering having unprotected sex with a new partner (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2021).

The STI test is not suitable for people under the age of 18. If you are under the age of 18 and would like to get tested for STIs, please contact the GGD in your municipality or your GP.

It is also advised not to take this test during the window period for STIs. The window period is the time between the moment of infection (such as after unprotected sex) and when the infection can be detected by a test. If you have taken an STI test before the window period is over and have tested negative, it is advised to test again after the window period.

Risk groups for STIs are defined by the GGD as:

  • People who have been warned by a previous sex partner that they have an STI
  • People with symptoms that could indicate an STI
  • Men who have sex with men;
  • Sex workers;
  • People who use injection drugs
  • Victims of sexual violence or rape
  • People who have been diagnosed with an STI in the past year
  • People from STI-endemic areas
  • Female partners of MSM and partners of people from STI-endemic areas
  • Young people (< 25 years)


People who are in risk groups are eligible for free STI testing with the GGD. Not sure if you are in a risk group? Visit the website of your municipality’s GGD for more information.

Safe sex practices reduce your risk of getting an STI. These practices include using a condom or dental dam during sexual intercourse or oral sex and cleaning sex toys between users. Even when using a condom, not all STIs can be completely prevented. STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and mycoplasma genitalium can be prevented using condoms or dental dams during sex. 

Genital warts, syphilis, and herpes can enter your body through your skin. Pubic lice or scabies can also be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or pubic hair. Using a condom or dental dam will not always protect against these STIs if the affected area is not covered by a condom. 

HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis B and C are transmissible through blood. This means that in order to become infected, body fluids such as blood, vaginal fluids, semen, or breast milk that contain the virus must enter the bloodstream. This can happen in various ways, such as through open sores, needle stick injuries, sharing needles, pregnancy and childbirth, or tears in the skin that occur during sexual contact. One cannot catch hepatitis or HIV through activities like hugging, sharing eating utensils, or sneezing/coughing. HIV can be avoided by using PReP before potential exposure, or PEP after being exposed. Hepatitis B can be prevented through vaccination. Men who have sex with men, sex workers, and children born after January 1, 2011 can get vaccinated against Hepatitis B for free in the Netherlands. 

If you have symptoms that could be an STI or if you have had sex with someone who has an STI, be sure to get tested. You should get tested even if you had sex with a condom.

Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, HPV, hepatitis B, and HIV are some of the most common STIs worldwide. In the Netherlands, chlamydia is the most common STI (RIVM, 2021).