Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) & Blood Borne Viruses
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections caused by germs (micro-organisms) which may spread from person to person during vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Prevention of STIs
- Come prepared! Use condoms.
- Practise safer sex. Make sure semen, blood, vaginal or anal fluid are not passed between partners.
- Talk about any past infections with your sexual partner/s.
- Always use clean needles.
- 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.
For more information see the SHine SA Safer sex leaflet.
Normal discharge for women
Every woman has vaginal discharge which cleans and moistens the vagina. It’s clear or slightly milky and appears yellowish when dry. The genital area has a faint scent. The amount of vaginal discharge varies. An increase can occur at certain times, including:
- midway between periods
- when using oral contraception or intra-uterine device
- during pregnancy
Normal discharge for men
Apart from urine and semen, men do not normally have any discharge from the penis. Uncircumcised men produce a small amount of whitish discharge called smegma, which has a lubricating and cleansing function under the foreskin. The genital area has a faint scent, which is quite normal.
When to consult a doctor
You should get tested 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 at SHine SA.
To book an appointment for an STI test at SHine SA, call 1300 794 584. This service is free if you are under 30 years old and have a Medicare card.
Some STIs are notifiable (Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis B). This means that these infections are reported to the Centre for Disease Control Branch (SA Health) by the doctor or nurse ordering the test. 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 will be contacted (notified) 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. STI information translated into languages other than English is available – click here.
For further information or to arrange a test, contact:
Tel: 1300 794 584