What is an STI?
STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) are infections that can be passed from person to person through sexual contact. Every person who is sexually active can be at risk, especially if you have unprotected sexual intercourse or skin on skin contact during sexual activity. The best way to reduce the risk is to use a condom or dam and to get regularly tested and if necessary treated by a doctor. You can find out about different STIs by downloading this PDF.
If you think you might have an STI contact Family Planning Tasmania or your regular doctor to make an appointment…
Many STIs, including Chlamydia, have no obvious signs or symptoms. However, if you notice any painful sores, blisters, rashes around your genitals or have pain or a stinging, burning sensation when you urinate (wee) it’s a good idea to get checked straight away.
An STI test often involves a urine (wee) test or a swab of inside the vagina or penis. A swab is similar to a long cotton bud.
A pap smear tests for signs of HPV (human papillomavirus) and associated cell changes that can lead to cancer. A pap smear does not generally involve testing for other STIs, but you can ask your doctor or nurse to do this at the same time.
It is highly recommended you get an STI test if:
- You are under 30 years old and have been sexually active in the last 12 months.
- You have had unprotected sex without a condom or dam, including vaginal, oral or anal sex.
- You think you might have an STI.
- Your partner has another sexual partner or has had previous sexual partners.
- You have had a condom break or come off during sex.
- You are starting a new sexual relationship.
- You have shared injecting equipment.
If you are between 15 and 29 and are having sex, we recommend having a Chlamydia test each year, particularly if you have have had unprotected sex with more than one partner. Chlamydia is very common but also easy to test for and treat. If left untreated, it can cause infertility in men and women – that means it could make it difficult for you to have children.
Firstly, don’t panic! Some STIs can be cured with a course of antibiotics or a cream, whereas as others might need some ongoing treatment.
You will need to tell any sexual partners so they can get treated too. Your doctor may be able to help you do this.
Where can I go to get tested for an STI?
- 9am-5pm Mon-Fri6273 9117
- 9am-5pm Mon-Fri6343 4566
- 9am-5pm Mon, Wed, Thurs6431 7692