Find out more about sexual health testing
- Not all STIs have any symptoms - the only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get a sexual health test.
- Most STIs are easily treated after being diagnosed, but not all STIS have a cure.
- Some STIs can increase the chances of acquiring HIV, or if you are living with HIV, make it easier to transmit.
Getting a sexual health test is a simple and effective way to take care of yourself, and your sexual partner/s. Everyone who has sex with casual sexual partners should have a sexual health check at least once a year. People who inject drugs also should also test regularly.
Where to Test
We’ve put together a map of sites across the ACT offering free or very low cost tests, making finding, booking and getting a test quick and simple. Some sites offer testing without requiring a Medicare card, and results are often available via SMS. Click on the dark green map menu, or view in full screen to see information about each site, including contact information.
- There are a range of different tests available and can include:
- Swabs (oral, anal and vaginal)
- Urine sample
- Blood sample
- Visual examination (checking for physical symptoms of particular STIs)
- Rapid HIV testing. STRIP Clinic does not currently offer rapid HIV testing.
When you have your appointment, the clinician will discuss any risks of getting STIs, HIV or viral Hepatitis since your last test. This is to work out which tests are recommended for you. Some samples will be collected by the clinician, such as oral swabs and blood. Urine samples and anal/vaginal swabs can be self-collected in privacy. It is important that you let your clinician know if you have any signs or symptoms that you think might be an STI, or any unusual changes. These changes could include rashes, lesions, itches, lumps, unusual smells or discharges. Some STIs such as warts and genital herpes are not tested as part of a standard STI screening unless there are symptoms, so it's important to be honest with your clinician, and understand that they are bound by confidentiality.
You can get most of your results from visiting a test clinic within 24 hours to a week, depending on the samples collected and the site of your test. Your clinician will discuss with you how you would like to get your results. This could be face to face, over the phone or via SMS.
REMEMBER: Getting a positive result means you can do something about it and prevent it being passed on to other people! Getting tested is part of being in control of your health, and taking care of yourself and your sexual partner/s.
If you get a positive result, and you are not already at the clinic, then you will be asked to return to the clinic and discuss your result. This might be because more testing is needed, or because the clinician would like to discuss treatment options, or next steps. Some STIs can be cleared with specific antibiotics or treatments like creams, or freezing off warts. Some STIs cannot be cured, but can be managed effectively to minimise an impact on your long term wellbeing. You can talk to your clinician about treatment options for specific STIs.
Self Testing Kits
ATOMO Self testing kits are now available from our office in Turner. ATOMO Self-testing kits offer convenience and privacy for community members to take control of when they test. The test kits require only a small drop of blood from the fingertip, and give an accurate result in just 15 minutes. To find out more please call our team on 02 6257 2855, or drop in to the office. You can also read more on the ATOMO website, here.