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STIs Tests & Treatment

Why get tested?

Many people who have a sexually transmitted infect (STI) don't experience symptoms, and may not even know they have one. Testing and using condoms are the best ways to stay in total control of your sexual health. If left untreated, some STIs can cause unpleasant symptoms and could lead to long-term problems such as infertility.

When should I get tested?

It's a good idea to have regular sexual health check-ups once you start having sex, when you change sexual partners or start a new relationship. You and your partner should get tested before you stop using condoms.

See one of the Holdsworth House doctors if you have had unsafe sex or have symptoms such as pain, discharge or itching in your genital area.

Where can I get tested?

Any one of the Holdsworth House doctors can order STI testing. Having a test is simple and painless. They can be done on the day of your consultation on-site.

Is testing confidential?

Yes. Our doctors are legally obliged to keep information that a patient gives them confidential, regardless of their age. However, if there are issues that raise concerns about patients under the age of 16 then the doctor may take steps to ensure their safety.

Will anyone be informed of my test results?

The results of STI testing are completely confidential. At Holdsworth House sexual health clinic, the results are stored in your medical files where only the treating doctor will have access.

All notifiable diseases (including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV) are recorded by relevant health departments for the purpose of keeping statistical records. Our doctor will explain in further details when this needs to happen.

Are STI tests expensive?

Patients with a valid Medicare card will have the cost of the tests covered. For patients without Medicare card, our doctor will explain and notify you of the estimated costs prior to ordering the test.

How will I know what test to have?

There is no single test to detect all STIs. The doctor will ask you about any symptoms and discuss your sexual history. They'll use the information from your conversation to work out the tests you should have. STIs such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia, can be detected soon after you have been infected, even if you show no obvious signs. However, some STIs (e.g. HIV) won't show a positive result as quickly and your doctor will advise you on when to be re-tested.

How are STIs tested?

As a general rule you will have either a urine test, a swab, a blood test or a simple physical examination. The type of test depends on which STI is being treated.

What is the treatment if I test positive?

If you have an STI, your doctor will talk with you about the infection, whether there is a need for further tests and the sort of treatments involved.

Bacterial STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea can be easily treated with antibiotics. Other STIs such as herpes and genital warts can be managed to decrease your symptoms.

While treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is continually improving, at present there is still no cure for this potentially life-threatening infection.

Do I have to tell anyone that I have an STI?

If you test positive, you should tell your recent sexual partners so they can be tested too. One of them may have passed it on to you unknowingly. At Holdsworth House sexual health clinic, our doctor can provide you with letters or other ways to help minimise the embarrassment of getting in touch with former partners. Alternatively, our doctor can make direct contact with your sexual partners confidentially and not reveal your names or identities.

In most cases you're not obliged to notify teachers or your boss if you've been diagnosed with an STI, but there are some rare exceptions for certain professionals who have been diagnosed with a blood-borne virus like HIV or hepatitis B. Ask our doctor for advice if you are unsure.

Follow up after testing

It is important that you return to your doctor for follow up. Sometimes, you may be able to get the results by phoning. However, for some STIs, such as HIV, your doctor will require you to attend in person. If you had symptoms, returning for follow up allows your doctor to monitor your treatment.

Can I still have sex if I have an STI?

For the more common STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea, avoid sex until you've finished your full course of treatment and for at least a week following. If you do have sex, you should use a condom. For other STIs like genital warts and HIV, it's best to talk to your doctor about the options.