STIs and Testing

Key messages from this page:

  • Most STIs don’t have symptoms – you can’t tell who has an STI.
  • If the STI is not treated, you could end up with long term health problems.
  • STI testing is quick, easy, painless and usually free with Medicare.
STI test image

Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood-borne viruses (BBVs) are exactly what the names imply. There are many different STIs and BBVs and you probably have heard of many, if not all of them. We won't go into the specifics of each STI and BBV on this page, but we have provided links below where you can learn more about each one, including symptoms (although many people may not show symptoms), treatment and prevention.

There’s a high chance that some of the young people you work with have had an STI or BBV, or are living with one currently. The goal for this section is to help you understand the stigma and impacts of that stigma on young people. We also want you to know how testing works so you can support young people in getting tested and then treated if necessary.

The stigma around having an STI/BBV is very real, and we need to help stop this. While it is true that there are ways to prevent STIs and BBVs, such as using internal and external condoms or in some cases a vaccine, these are not 100% effective so there will always be a chance that a young person who is sexually active might contract or pass on an STI or BBV. This means that helping educate young people about these risks, talking with them about how to tell their partners, and how to get tested and treated will work towards normalising the true prevalence of STIs/BBVs in the community.

Many STIs are curable, but there are a few that aren't.  BBVs are also not curable. For these conditions, it is about testing and treating early to minimise the impact that they may have on a young person's life. This is why it still is important to prevent as many as we can!

STI Knowledge/Prevention Resources

  • Article: How Do I Lower the Risk of Getting an STI During Oral Sex?
  • Article: STI stigma
  • Comic: Respecting Choices- Sexual Health and Relationships Education (SHARE) Educational Tool
  • Website: Reach Out Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Video: TEDX Talk - STIs Aren’t a Consequence. They’re Inevitable.

  • Website: The Condom How-To (includes demonstration videos))
  • Website: Dental Dam Use
  • Website: Young Deadly Free

    This website is designed for and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote areas and contains a suite of very good information and videos/animations.

    Access Website Here

STI Testing/Treatment Resources

  • Article: When, Where, and Why: Telling Your Partner You Have an STI
  • Video: Basics of STI testing in remote areas

  • Video: Visiting a sexual health clinic

    CERSH recognises that these are labeled using a person's 'sex' as opposed to their 'gender'.

  • Videos: Be Proud of Your Choices

  • Video: Thorne Harbour 10 Things to need to know about PrEP

  • Website: Take Blaktion