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.
SHINE SA has a range of Fact Sheets that provide more information on specific STIs as well as an overview of sexually transmitted infections.
Prevention of STIs
- Use condoms.
- Make sure you and your partner/s have had a recent STI check.
- Make sure semen, blood, vaginal or anal fluid are not passed between you and your partner/s.
- 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.
When to consult a doctor
You should see a doctor when symptoms of an STI are first noticed or if a sexual partner is diagnosed with an STI or has symptoms of an STI. Even if you have no symptoms, you can get an STI check at the doctor or sexual health clinic. Routine STI screening is recommended for any new sexual contact, or if your partner has had a new sexual contact.
To organise an STI test make an appointment at SHINE SA or visit your doctor.
Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis B are notifiable. 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.
For information on specific STIs, click on the links below.