Sexually transmissible infections – or STIs – are infections that can be passed on through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Most STIs are transmitted in sexual fluids, but some can be passed on from skin-to-skin genital contact.

Go here for more information on specific STIs.

Most STIs don’t have symptoms and you might never know you have been infected with one. But if you do get symptoms, the most common ones are itching, pain when peeing, sores or blisters, lumps, or a discharge from your vagina or penis.

For up-to-date information on MonkeyPox Virus and booking a vaccine, view the NSW Health website. 


For more information

Sexual Health infolink 

Play Safe NSW

STIPU's Clinical Management Guidelines

Last updated on 06/04/2023

Frequently Asked Questions

When you visit Sydney Sexual Health Centre, you might be seen by a nurse or doctor here, or you might be given the details of another service or GP that is best for your needs. You will answer some sexual health related questions on a computer. If you are seen here, you will be told if you need to have a physical examination (see “What happens during a physical STI exam?”), blood tests, urine tests and/or genital swabs.
If you are new to the clinic, we recommend you complete the online Time To Test? Assessment tool. You can also call us on (02) 9382 7440 after 1:30pm Wed and 9am - 5:30pm other weekdays. We will ask you some questions over the phone to determine if we are the best place to meet your needs.
A physical examination of genitals is usually only needed if you present with genital symptoms.
For a vaginal examination it may involve checking the pubes and vulva (lips), and may require the use of a speculum if an internal examination is indicated (similar to a Pap Smear). The nurse or doctor will take swabs from the cervix and vagina. Sometimes it is also necessary for the nurse or doctor to check for pain inside and this is done by inserting 2 fingers into the vagina and moving the cervix from side to side. 
For a penile examination it involves checking the pubes, penis, scrotum. If there is discharge coming from the urethra (where the urine comes out) a small swab is used to take a sample.
No. It doesn’t cost anything to visit us.
No. You don’t need a Medicare card to visit us. We will greatly appreciate if you bring your Medicare card as it helps us with our testing costs.
We see people with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or people who have had sex with someone with an STI. We also see gay or bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, young people, sex workers, Aboriginal people, and people who inject drugs.
From arrival to leaving, the average visit takes about 30-40 minutes but it depends on your needs and how busy the clinic is at the time.
Yes. We treat your personal information with strict privacy. However, our staff may discuss your treatment and care with each other to give you the best service.
It’s totally normal to feel embarrassed, but it’s quick and easy to have a test. We see thousands of people every year, so you’re not the only one. Our staff are very experienced at dealing with all sorts of sexual health issues.
You should have a test if you are sexually active. If you have had sex without a condom it is best to test at least 7 days after the sex (except for HIV – see “Why do I have to wait for an HIV test?” or if concerned about pregnancy see "Can I get a pregnancy test?"). If you have symptoms such as discharge or burning sensation from your vagina or penis or bum you should get tested straight away.
Our nurses or doctors will decide what tests you need, but generally you will be tested for the most common sexually transmissible infections: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis.
Rapid HIV testing is on-the-spot testing for HIV. The result is available after 20 mins. A small amount of blood from your fingertip is used for the test. Our doctor or nurse will need to discuss with you before deciding if it is the right test for you.
Results are usually available within 7 days but this can vary. Your testing clinician will inform you how and when to expect your results.
All infections have a time period before it can be detected in the body by a blood test. This is called the “window period”. For HIV, it can take at least 12 weeks from the last potential HIV exposure before the infection can be detected by a blood
test. Current tests used for HIV screening are very accurate and can detect infection at 6 weeks after exposure. This is why we recommend you come back for another HIV test at 6 weeks after exposure if the first test is non-reactive (negative). If this result at
6 weeks is still non-reactive (negative), it is likely you have not acquired HIV. It is still important to repeat the test again at 12 weeks after the last HIV exposure to be 100%
No. You don’t need to tell your parents about getting an STI test. If you’re 14 years old or over and the doctor or sexual health nurse thinks you’re mature enough to understand the health issue, tests, and treatment options, you can see a doctor or nurse without a parent present. You can also get your own Medicare card at 15 years old.
You can visit any doctor, a local sexual health service, or an Aboriginal Medical Service. Call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624 to find the sexual health service closest to you. All calls are private and confidential. Calls from landlines are free (if you call from a mobile phone, normal charges will apply).
If you need emergency contraception (morning after pill) you will need to go to your local sexual health service or any pharmacy within 72 hours of the se. You don't need a script for the morning after pill.
You can buy a pregnancy test kit from any pharmacy or get a blood test from your regular doctor.
Yes, you should get tested if there has been sex without a condom, including oral, vaginal, or anal sex, or if you have genital or anal symptoms. In NSW, sex workers generally have lower rates of STIs than the general population,
Yes, it is possible to get STIs through oral sex, although it tends to be a lower risk than either vaginal or anal sex.
For the ongoing oral contraception pill you will need to go to your local doctor (GP) or family planning clinic. Young people under 21 can discuss contraception at our youth-specific Satellite Clinic. Emergency contraception (morning after pill) is available at SSHC. Our doctor or nurse will need to assess if it is suitable for you.
No. We recommend speaking to your local doctor (GP) about Cervical Screening Test.