Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What is the I Know home test kit icon

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The FREE I Know home test kit is a simple way for young women, girls, transmen, and any person with a vagina to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea in the privacy of their own home or wherever they feel comfortable! The kit includes a swab for taking a sample from the vagina, a tube to put the swab in, and an envelope for mailing it back. The swab is tested at a County Public Health Laboratory. Results are available online or by phone approximately one week after mailing back the kit.

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The FREE I Know home test kit is being offered by the Sexually Transmitted Disease Control and Prevention Unit of the Alameda County Public Health Department.

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The FREE I Know home test kit is currently available to young women, girls, transmen, and any person with a vagina in Alameda County ages 12 to 24 who are sexually active or have had sex in the past. People of this age group are at the highest risk for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations say sexually active females through age 24 should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea at least once a year, every year. Anyone who has had unprotected sex or had a condom break can get chlamydia and gonorrhea. Most people don’t have any symptoms and don’t know they are infected. However, these infections can cause serious problems if left untreated. The kit is best for people who want to test at home instead of going to a clinic. If you are having symptoms of an STI or are pregnant DO NOT ORDER THE KIT, instead go to a doctor or clinic right away to get checked.

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The home test kit that is currently offered includes a vaginal swab that tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in the vagina. This program is currently available to young women, girls, transmen, and any person with a vagina who is between the age of 12-24 in Alameda County who is sexually active or has had sex in the past.

If you want a test for HIV or any other STI, or if you think you might have been exposed to chlamydia or gonorrhea in the anus or throat (from anal or oral sex), you should go to a clinic and get checked. If you need help finding a clinic near you, use our clinic locator, call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110, or email [email protected]

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If you are younger than age 12, you must go to a clinic with your parent or guardian to get an STI test. Call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 or email us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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If you are older than age 24 and worried about having an STI you should visit a clinic to discuss this with a medical provider. If you need help finding a clinic near you use our clinic locator, call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110, or email [email protected]

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Both the kit and test are 100% FREE. There is no cost to you to order the kit or take the test. Simply order the kit on this website and everything that you'll need to take the test will be sent in the mail. There is also no cost for postage to return a test kit. In fact, a pre-paid envelope is included in each kit so that you can mail the test back for processing, free-of-charge. The Alameda County Department of Public Health is providing this test for free because chlamydia and gonorrhea are serious threats to the health of young women, girls, transmen, and any person with a vagina in our community.

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If you test positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea, we will call you if you haven’t viewed your results a week after they were available. We will also call you a week after you get your results to see if you got treated or if you need any help finding a clinic. Your health is important to us and we want to make sure that if you have an infection, it is treated. Our experienced staff will always ensure your privacy and confidentiality on any call.

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The home test kit that is currently offered includes a vaginal swab that tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea in the vagina. By selecting female or intersex with a vagina, we expect that you will be able to use this test. If you were assigned female at birth, but do not have a vagina please visit your primary care provider or search our clinic finder to find a place that can provide you with an appropriate test. If you were assigned male or intersex without a vagina at birth, but have a vagina please contact us at (510) 268-2110 so that we can send you a test.

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I Know home test kit icon

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The test used in this kit is the APTIMA-Combo 2, made by Gen-Probe. The APTIMA Combo 2 tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. APTIMA–Combo 2 is a “NAAT” test, which means Nucleic Acid Amplification Test. NAAT technology is the most sensitive available which means that it can detect an infection from a sample containing a single chlamydia or gonorrhea bacterium. While no test is 100% accurate, this test is highly accurate, reliable, and is, in fact, the best test available.

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No, this test only checks for chlamydia and gonorrhea in the vagina. It does NOT test for HIV, syphilis, HPV, herpes, or any other STI. If you want a test for HIV or any other STI, or if you think you might have been exposed to chlamydia or gonorrhea in the anus or throat (from anal or oral sex), you should go to a clinic and get checked. If you need help finding a clinic near you, use our clinic locator, call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 or email [email protected]ontThinkKnow.org.

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While they sound similar, there is an important difference. STD stands for sexually transmitted disease and STI stands for sexually transmitted infection.

An infection is considered a disease when it causes symptoms, but chlamydia and gonorrhea usually do not have symptoms. So, for this program, we use the term STI.

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Yes. The only thing that touches your body is the cotton swab. This test has been used safely in California and in other parts of the U.S. for several years.

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No. You should not feel any pain when you take this test. You simply swirl a cotton swab in your vagina for several seconds. That’s all there is to it.

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how do I use kit icon

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The test kit will arrive in the regular US mail in a white 8 1/2 x 11 inch envelope. Nothing on the envelope will show what is inside. There is a return address on the envelope which says "DTK" and has the address of the health department in case the kit gets lost on its way to you and needs to be returned. The test kit comes with step-by-step written instructions to help you use the test. There is also a video on this website that shows you how to use the test.

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This test is very simple and easy to use. The test kit comes with step-by-step written instructions that helps you use the test. There is also a video on this website that shows you how to use the test.

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Most STIs have no symptoms, at least at first. However, if you are having symptoms of an STI or if you are pregnant DO NOT ORDER THE KIT, instead go to a doctor or clinic right away to get checked. If you need help finding a clinic near you, use our clinic locator, call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110, or email [email protected]

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You can get chlamydia and gonorrhea again and again. Even if you get treated you can still be re-infected.

After you finish treatment for either a chlamydia or gonorrhea infection, you should be re-tested 3 months later. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that sexually active women age 24 years or younger should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea every year. CDC also recommends getting tested if you:

  • you have symptoms
  • you change sex partners
  • you have more than one sex partner
  • your partner has more than one sex partner

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Yes, absolutely! You can go to your regular doctor or use the clinic locator on this website to find a free or low-cost clinic near you. Call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 or email us at [email protected] for assistance. The home test kit is just another option for you to use. If you are having symptoms of an STI or are pregnant, DO NOT ORDER THE KIT, instead go to a doctor or clinic right away to get checked.

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Please log in to order another test kit on this website or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

You will need to replace your previous order to request a new kit. To replace your previous order, please log in and choose the ‘replace order’ button. Follow the steps in the reordering wizard to place a new order.

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As long as there is enough fluid left in the tube to cover the tip of the cotton swab, you can still mail it back. Otherwise, please log in to order another test kit on this website or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

You will need to replace your previous order to request a new kit. To replace your previous order, please log in and choose the ‘replace order’ button. Follow the steps in the reordering wizard to place a new order.

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Please log in to order another test kit on this website or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

You will need to replace your previous order to request a new kit. To replace your previous order, please log in and choose the ‘replace order’ button. Follow the steps in the reordering wizard to place a new order.

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You should wait a couple days after your period is done before doing the test.

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If the cotton swab and the tube are still unopened and the expiration date on the tube has not passed, you can still use the kit. Otherwise, you should log in to order another test kit on this web site or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

You will need to replace your previous order to request a new kit. To replace your previous order, please log in and choose the ‘replace order’ button. Follow the steps in the reordering wizard to place a new order.

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You should receive the home test kit 3 to 5 days after ordering it on this website. If you have not received your test kit a week after you order it, call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 or email [email protected]

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The test kit comes in a plain white envelope. Nothing on the envelope will show what is inside. The return address on this envelope will look like this:

DTK Alameda
1000 Broadway, Suite 500,
Oakland, CA 94607


If you do not want to get the test kit mailed to your home you can get it sent anywhere in Alameda County. For example, you can ask for it to be mailed to you at a youth center, your work, a trusted friend’s house, or the office of a school nurse or counselor. You should let someone at these places know that you are expecting an envelope so that they are sure to save it for you.

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The lab will not be able to test a swab in an unlabeled tube. Please log in to order another test kit on this website or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

You will need to replace your previous order to request a new kit. To replace your previous order, please log in and choose the ‘replace order’ button. Follow the steps in the reordering wizard to place a new order.

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After it's placed inside the tube, the swab should be tested within two weeks. If it's been longer than that then you should dispose of your current kit, then log in to order another test kit on this website, or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

You will need to replace your previous order to request a new kit. To replace your previous order, please log in and choose the ‘replace order’ button. Follow the steps in the reordering wizard to place a new order.

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You will create your account the first time you order a home test kit. Click on the 'Order a Test' button on the top of this webpage and then follow the steps in the order portal to create an account and place your first order.

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If you'd like to update your contact information, including the zip code where you want the kit mailed, you will need to log-in to your account and click on the 'Update Account' tab. You can select which information you'd like to update from this page.

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To change your notification preferences, you will need to log-in to your account and click on the 'Update Account' tab. You can select the information you'd like to update from this page.

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You probably noticed the website looks different! We have made big upgrades to the site to add options and to make the website easier for people on mobile devices, like a phone. This means that everyone who wants to order a test has to register for the program again when you order a new test. You will only have to re-register one time.

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The first time you start the order process, you create an account. So, even if you didn't complete the home test kit order, your account was created. To finish placing your home test kit order, you will need to log-in to your account and click 'Order Test' from your account dashboard. You will continue the order process in the same place that you left off. If you want to start the order process over, you will need to cancel your current order from the dashboard tab of your account. If you forgot your password, follow the "forgot password" link on the log-in page. 

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If it takes more than two weeks to complete your order, we need to verify the information again to be sure that none of your responses have changed.

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Yes, after starting your order with someone from the I Know Alameda hotline you will receive a link via email or text that will take you to the order portal. This step is necessary because only you can verify that the email or phone number you are using to order the home test kit belongs to you. Once you click on the link, follow the steps in the order portal to finish placing your order.

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If you previously ordered a test, but did not return it you will not be able to order a new test until you cancel your previous order using the 'replace order' process. Please log-in to order another test kit on this website or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

To replace your previous order, please log-in and choose the ‘replace order’ button. Follow the steps in the reordering wizard to place a new order.

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Please log in to cancel your order on this website or call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 for assistance.

To cancel your order, please log-in and choose the ‘cancel order’ button under the order status bar. This will remove your order from our system, but you will still have an account if you choose to order a new test at a later date.  If the status says 'Kit Mailed' in your order status bar, the kit has already been mailed and you will need to dispose of it when it arrives.  Once the lab has processed your order and the results have been posted, you no longer have a 'cancel order’ option available.

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Call the I Know Alameda hotline at (510) 268-2110 or email us at [email protected].

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Welcome to the upgraded Don’t Think, Know website!

This new site provides more options for you. For example, you can now access the program with either an email or a phone number and upgraded notification options will keep you better informed of your order status. We have also made reordering easier with reminder options and the new site works better for people using a mobile device.

Even if you ordered from us in the past, you will need to create a new account on this upgraded platform. After that, your newly selected username and password will get you into your account to securely request free kits and access test results.

As always, your privacy is most important to us. We will not share your personal information. Please review our updated privacy policy here.

If you have any questions about Don’t Think, Know or your previous test results, contact us at (510) 268-2110 or [email protected].