What happens in an STI test?

What happens in an STI test?

Sexual health clinics offer confidential STI (including HIV) testing, treatment and information. Public sexual health clinics are free, you don’t need your Medicare card, and you can be anonymous (you don’t need to tell them who you are). Free condoms and lube are also available, along with injecting equipment from needle and syringe programs (NSPs).

There is a list of sexual health clinics, and Aboriginal Medical Services listed on this website.

When you go for a sexual health check-up, your doctor will ask you some questions about some of the sex you have had recently. 

A full sexual health check-up should include all of the tests listed below.

  • blood taken to test for:
    • HIV and syphilis
    • hepatitis A and B if you’re not vaccinated for them (you should also talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and B) and,
    • depending on your risk, for hepatitis C
  • urine (pee) sample for gonorrhoea and chlamydia
  • vagina or front-hole swabs for gonorrhoea and chlamydia 
  • anal swabs for gonorrhoea and chlamydia
  • throat swab for gonorrhoea and chlamydia

It can also include a physical examination for genital herpes, genital warts, crabs (pubic lice) and scabies.

You may need to ask specifically for some of these tests.

If you have symptoms you may be offered different tests. An STI test can be done even if you do not have symptoms. The type of test you have is decided by the doctor. If you do not have any symptoms you will most likely have a urine (pee) test.

STI tests should not be taken without your permission. Talk to your doctor or Aboriginal Health Worker if you are unsure what to be tested for. Test results will usually take seven to ten days to come back and you may have to make another appointment to receive these results in person. A face-to-face discussion with a doctor or counsellor is available if you are receiving test results for HIV or hepatitis C.

For more information about testing for HIV and other STIs watch this video:


About STIs

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We acknowledge and pay respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work.