STIs are easily treatable and often curable

STIs are super common, but the good news is, most go away with the right treatment, and all infections have treatments available. 

Many STIs, caused by bacteria can be efficiently cured with the appropriate antibiotics. However, left untreated, these conditions can jeopardise your long-term sexual health, leading to things like chronic pain, organ damage, infertility, and an increased risk of contracting other STIs.

Often you can collect your own test sample, either by urine sample, or a cotton swab. Some infections might require a simple blood test.

Get tested. Get treated. It’s simple!

Book an appointment today with your friendly local sexual health clinic for stigma free and confidential testing. Find a clinic via state below.

What are the symptoms?

Gonorrhoea
Chlamydia
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
Genital Herpes
Hepatitis B
Syphilis

Find a clinic

Victoria - Sexual Health Victoria

SHV Box Hill Clinic
901 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill VIC 3128
Book below or call (03) 9257 0100

SHV Melbourne Clinic
Level 1/94 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Book below or call (03) 9660 4700

South Australia - SHINE SA

Hyde Street Practice
57 Hyde Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Book below or call (08) 8300 5300

Woodville 
64c Woodville Road, Woodville SA 5011
Book below or call (08) 8300 5300

Western Australia - Sexual Health Quarters

SHQ Northbridge Clinic
170 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge, 6003

SHQ Rockingham Clinic
4 Civic Blvd, Rockingham, WA 6168

Book below or call (08) 6227 6177

Northern Territory - Family Planning NT

Darwin Clinic
Unit 2 The Clock Tower,
Corner Caryota Court & Dickward Drive, Coconut Grove, NT 0810

Palmerston Clinic
Co-sharing BreastScreen NT venue,
Cnr. Temple Tce & Roystonea Ave

Make a booking  call (08) 8948 0144 between 9am and 4pm weekdays.

New South Wales - Family Planning Australia

Newington Clinic
10 Avenue of the Americas, Newington NSW 2127

Newcastle Clinic
Ground Floor, 384 Hunter Street, Newcastle NSW 2300

Penrith Clinic
13 Reserve Street, Penrith NSW 2750

Dubbo Clinic
2B/155 Macquarie Street, Dubbo NSW 2830

Fairfield Clinic
24-26 Nelson Street, Fairfield NSW 2165

Book below or call 1300 372 372

Queensland -True relationships & reproductive health

Brisbane Clinic
Building 1, 230 Lutwyche Road, Windsor QLD 4030

Cairns Clinic
Ground Floor, Solander Centre, 182 Grafton Street, Cairns QLD 4870

Southport Clinic
Level 1, H20 Broadwater, 1/2 Nind Street, Southport QLD 4215

Ipswich Clinic
Shop 5, 54 Limestone Street, Ipswich QLD 4305

Rockhampton Clinic
Shop 4B, Glenmore Shopping Village, 301 Farm Street, Norman Gardens QLD 4701

Toowoomba Clinic
661 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350

Tasmania - Family Planning Tasmania

Glenorchy Clinic
421 Main Road, Glenorchy TAS 7010
To book call (03) 6273 9117

Launceston
93 Paterson Street, Launceston, 7250
To book call (03) 6343 4566

Burnie
199 Mount St, Upper Burnie, 7320
To book call (03) 6431 7692

Australian Capital Territory - Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT

Level One, 28 University Avenue, Canberra, City ACT, 2601

Book below or call (02) 6247 3077

What are the symptoms?

The most common STI symptom is no symptoms.

As many as 80% of people with an STI do not experience any symptoms at all – the only way to know for sure is by testing. Protect yourself and others from spreading STIs.

Gonorrhoea

Over the past three years, cases of gonorrhoea have risen by 45%. New infection rates are highest amongst young people aged 15–29*.

What is gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is a STI caused by bacteria. It can affect the cervix, urethra, rectum, throat, and occasionally the eyes.

What are the symptoms?

Many individuals with gonorrhoea do not experience symptoms.

However, symptoms can include:

  • Unusual discharge from the penis, vagina, or anus
  • Irregular bleeding from the vagina, especially post-sex
  • Pain, discomfort, stinging, or burning during urination
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infection)

Why is testing crucial?

Untreated gonorrhoea may lead to health complications, such as:

  • Infertility
  • Transmission to sexual partners, even without symptoms
  • Increased risk of acquiring or spreading other STIs
  • Infection of a baby during pregnancy or birth

How is the test administered?

Testing for gonorrhoea is straightforward. Typically, a urine sample or a cotton swab is used to collect samples from the vagina, penis, anus, and/or throat. Self-collection may be an option for your sample.

Cases of chlamydia have increased 24% over the last three years in Australia. Young people aged 15 – 29 yrs represent 67% of all new chlamydia cases diagnosed.

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a prevalent STI caused by bacteria. It can impact the cervix, urethra, rectum, throat and occasionally the eyes. It is a risk for anyone sexually active.

What are the symptoms?

In many cases, chlamydia does not have any obvious symptoms.

However, symptoms may include:

  • Unusual discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus
  • Irregular bleeding from the vagina, especially post-sex
  • Discomfort or pain while urinating
  • Redness at the penis opening
  • Pain in the pelvic, testicular, or rectal areas
  • Pain during sex
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infection)

Why is testing so crucial?

Untreated chlamydia can lead to health complications such as:

  • Transmission to sexual partners, even without symptoms
  • Increased risk of acquiring or spreading other STIs
  • Infertility
  • Infection of a baby during pregnancy or birth

How is the test administered?

Chlamydia testing is simple. Typically, a self-collected urine sample or a cotton swab is used to collect samples from the vagina, penis, anus, and/or throat. Self-collection may be an option for your sample.

What is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)?

Nearly all sexually active individuals will encounter at least one HPV type in their lifetime. Of the 200 types, around 40 can infect the genital area, with 14 being high-risk and, in rare cases, linked to cancer.

What are the symptoms?

Most people, even those with precancerous cervical changes, may have no symptoms.

However:

Low-risk HPV: Genital warts may appear, accompanied by itching, pain, or abnormal bleeding from the vagina or anus.

Higher-risk HPV: Those with a cervix may experience abnormal bleeding, spotting, or pain during sex.

Why is testing crucial?

Higher-risk HPV often shows no symptoms. Screening is vital for individuals with a cervix aged 25 and above, who have ever had sex. Untreated high-risk HPV may lead to cancer, although most infections clear within two years. HPV during pregnancy usually doesn’t cause complications.

How is the test administered?

Low-risk HPV: Genital warts are diagnosed by a doctor or nurse through examination.

Higher-risk HPV: Cervical screening tests are conducted for individuals with a cervix.

Genital Herpes

What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is one of the most prevalent STIs. It is caused by either herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or type 2. HSV-1 infects both the mouth and genitals, while HSV-2 typically affects the genitals but can also manifest in the mouth.

What are the symptoms?

Many people with HSV-1 or HSV-2 may be unaware of the virus due to the absence of symptoms.

Symptoms, if present, may include:

  • Painful sores in the genital area, mouth, or surrounding regions
  • Redness, itching, tingling, or burning in the genital, penile, or anal areas
  • Splits or cracks in genital or oral skin
  • Discomfort or pain during urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms

Why is testing crucial?

New genital herpes infections or untreated cases during pregnancy can lead to severe health complications, especially in the final trimester. Having genital herpes sores increases the risk of acquiring or spreading other STIs.

How is the test administered?

If sores are present, a healthcare practitioner will examine them and use a cotton swab to collect a sample to identify whether it is HSV type 1 or type 2.

What is hepatitis B?

It is a major global health concern and a leading cause of chronic liver disease^.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that primarily targets the liver, caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Hepatitis B can be transmitted through contact with the blood, semen, or other bodily fluids of an infected person. The virus is highly contagious, and common modes of transmission include unprotected sex.

What are the symptoms?

Many people with hepatitis B do not know because they do not have symptoms, do not notice symptoms, or believe the symptoms to be a different illness.

Some people might have symptoms such as:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • muscle aches
  • abdominal pain
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • dark yellow urine
  • nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • pale or grey poo

Why is testing crucial?

Even if you feel well, having hepatitis B can pose a risk to your liver health. Over time, it can lead to the development of cirrhosis s liver disease, characterised by severe scarring, and increase the likelihood of liver disease or liver cancer.

How is the test administered?

The hepatitis B test involves a simple blood test. The sample is then analysed in a laboratory to detect specific markers. Results can indicate current infection, immunity from past infection, or immunity from vaccination.

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is a bacterial STI that can impact anyone sexually active. Congenital syphilis occurs when an infected pregnant person transmits the infection to their baby during pregnancy or birth.

What are the symptoms?

Many people with syphilis may not experience symptoms. As the infection progresses through three stages, each associated with different symptoms, including:

  • Painless chancres (sores) that may go unnoticed
  • Red, spotty rash on the back, chest, hands, and feet
  • Fever, tiredness, headache, and/or sore throat

While these symptoms may resolve without treatment, the infection can persist, potentially infecting partners or passing to a baby during pregnancy or birth. Congenital syphilis can lead to severe complications like miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious health issues in babies.

Why is testing crucial?

Without treatment, tertiary syphilis can occur years later, causing diseases in various organ systems. The incidence of syphilis is rising, leading to an increase in congenital cases and deaths among infected babies. Treating pregnant individuals prevents congenital syphilis. Antibiotics effectively treat syphilis.

How is the test administered?

Syphilis testing involves a blood test at a clinic. If symptoms are present, a physical examination by a doctor or nurse may be conducted, including a swab test if chancres are present.

References

*National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. Australian Government Department of Health. https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/nndss

^ World Health Organization (WHO) Global Hepatitis Report. report2023 /en/https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-b