It is common to feel embarrassment, shame or fear when talking about sexual health. However, these feelings should not stop you from getting help.
Doctors and nurses are trained to look after our health and they deal with sexual health matters all the time. If you talk to a doctor or nurse about your health, it will remain private and confidential.
Sexual health tests are free, painless and confidential.
who should get a sexual health test?
- Someone who is starting a sexual relationship
- Someone who is or was sexually active and has not been tested
- Someone who is or was injecting drugs and has not been tested
- Someone who thinks they may have received non-tested blood products or had non-sterile injections or medical procedures in Australia or overseas
why get tested?
A lot of infections are easily treated - the sooner a person finds out they are infected, the sooner they can begin treatment.
Many infections can cause you a lot of harm if they are not treated. Again, the sooner you find out the less harm will be done.
what does the test involve?
Testing for HIV and hepatitis involves blood samples. Testing for STIs can involve swabs or urine samples. Results from the tests can take one to two weeks.
what happens afterwards?
People experience different reactions when they receive test results. People who find out they have infections can experience shock, relief, anger, shame, fear or sadness.
No matter what the result on your test, you can receive counselling from the person who does the testing, to make sure you understand the results and that you have support.
where can I get tested?
You can get tested at your local community health centre or general practitioner.
You can also get tested at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre , on Swanston Street in Melbourne city.
Call them on (03) 9347 0244 or visit www.mshc.org.au