Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) & Blood Borne Viruses
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections caused by some bacteria, viruses and other organisms. They can be passed from person to person through any form of sexual activity, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. Some STIs can be passed through skin-to-skin contact alone. Not all STIs have symptoms. If you have had unprotected sex, get tested!
Prevention of STIs
-Go prepared! Use condoms.
-Practise safer sex. Make sure you and your partner/s have had a recent STI check.
-Talk about any past infections with your sexual partner/s.
-Don’t share injecting equipment or anything that comes into contact with blood (e.g. tattoo equipment).
-When there are sores, lumps or ulcers around the mouth or genital area, or unusual discharge, avoid vaginal, anal and oral sex or any activity involving skin contact with the affected area.
Chlamydia is a common bacterial infection that is easily spread through sexual contact. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Australia. Chlamydia infections are rapidly increasing in Australia. For more information on chlamydia click here.
Gonorrhoea may cause burning or discharge from the penis, increased vaginal discharge or severe abdominal pain, but may sometimes have no symptoms. For more information on gonorrhoea click here.
Mycoplasma Genitalium may cause discharge from the penis, discomfort on urination, abnormal vaginal discharge, and bleeding between periods and after sex for information. For more information on Mycoplasma Genitalium click here.
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is the virus that causes wart infection. There are many types of HPV that affect different parts of the body and some of them can infect the genital area. For more information on HPV click here.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause serious health problems if it is not treated. Syphilis is divided into stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). For more information on syphilis click here.
Trichomonas is a bacteria and can cause a yellow-green vaginal discharge in women which may feel irritating and have a strong smell, Men may have a similar discharge or no symptoms. Trichomonas is easily diagnosed by a test. Prompt treatment of the patient and their sexual partner(s) is important to prevent the spread of the infection. For more information on trichomonas click here.
Some STIs are notifiable (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B). This means that the Communicable Disease Control Branch (SA Health) will be notified by the doctor or nurse ordering the test if the result is positive. Anyone diagnosed with these infections will be asked to provide their sexual contacts over the last 3-6 months (the time period depends on the infection and its incubation period). These individuals can be contacted (notified) anonymously to explain the risk of infection and the need for testing and treatment as appropriate