Everyone who’s sexually active needs to have regular sexual health tests. If you’re in a trusting, monogamous relationship and want to have unprotected sex, make sure you and your partner have been tested and given the ‘all clear’ for STIs and have had a sexual health check up to know for sure if you are at risk of transmitting STIs.
What Does Testing Involve?
For women, a sexually transmissible infection (STI) test usually includes samples of vaginal secretions, taken with what looks like a long cotton bud. This can be done at the same time as a Pap smear. In some situations a urine test may be needed for women.
Men who have no STI symptoms will have a urine test. Where a man has symptoms such as discharge from the penis or pain or swelling in the testicles, swabs are taken from the opening at the end of the penis.
If you have had anal or oral sex, your doctor may also recommend testing these areas. If you have an ulcer in the mouth or genital area which could be caused by an STI, samples might be taken directly from the ulcer itself.
Test results usually take about a week to come back. If results show you have an infection, sexual partners also need to be tested and treated, otherwise reinfection can occur.
Avoid having unsafe sex while you or your partner are taking the treatment. You could infect each other again.
Don’t drink alcohol while taking the treatment. The alcohol will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. You might also forget about having safe sex.
To find general info about sexual health testing go to: www.fpwa.org.au/
Or, if you’re a guy who has sex with guys and over 18 and want more information about testing and sexual health go to www.projectx.net.au , also see our Testing Services page.
Where can you get a test for STIs?
A test is available at most GP’s. However there are a number of other places that you can go to get a test, if for any reason you do not feel comfortable seeing a GP. Other places to get a test are:
M Clinic (For men who have sex with men)
548 Newcastle St, West Perth (08) 9227 0734
Infectious Diseases Department, Fremantle Hospital
Alma Street, Fremantle (08) 9431 2149
Sexual Health Department (Clinic), Royal Perth Hospital
Murray Street, Perth (08) 9224 2178
FPWA Sexual Health Services
70 Roe Street Northbridge WA 6003 (08) 9227 6177
Quarry Health Centre (Under 25’s)
170 Aberdeen St Northbridge (08) 9227 1444
Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service (Aboriginal Health Services)
156 Wittenoom Street, Perth
Telephone: (08) 9421 3888
Womens Health Services
227 Newcastle St Northbridge (08) 6330 5400
AIDSline: 9482 0044
FPWA Sexual Health Services
Sexual Health Helpline:
9227 6178 (metro)
1800 198 205 (regional)
Regional Population Health Units
Albany (08) 9842 7500
Broome (08) 9194 1630
Bunbury (08) 9781 2350
Carnarvon (08) 9941 0560
Geraldton (08) 9956 1985
Kalgoorlie-Boulder (08) 9080 8200
Northam (08) 9622 4320
South Hedland (08) 9172 8333