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  General Public: STIs Information Monday, January 26, 2015
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 STI Information

What are Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs)?

  • STIs are infections passed from one person to another during sexual contact
  • STIs can infect many areas of the body
  • STIs are caused by microscopic organisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites
  • STIs do not always cause signs or symptoms

What activities put me at risk of STIs?
Having vaginal or anal sex without a condom (unprotected sex) can put you at risk of getting an STI. You can also get some STIs from unprotected oral sex. Some activities put you at greater risk than others. Riskier activities include unprotected sex:

  • with casual partners (the more partners, the greater the risk)
  • with a partner who has had unprotected sex with casual partners
  • when travelling outside Australia
  • with a person who has had unprotected sex outside Australia
  • with a partner who has injected drugs

Men who have unprotected anal sex with other men are also at higher risk.

You may want to know more about STIs or you may be concerned that you have an STI. Listed below are short descriptions of STIs that link to more detailed information. Some Factsheets are available in other languages.

English E Chinese Simplified CS Chinese Traditional CT Korean K Thai T


Bacterial Vaginosis

  • The normal, healthy vagina contains many different types of bacteria.
  • In BV the balance of the different types of bacteria is changed, leading to an overgrowth of some and a decrease in others. This usually results in a change to a woman’s vaginal discharge.
  • BV is not sexually transmitted.
    Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T




  • Chlamydia is a very common infection that mainly infects the penis, vagina and anus
  • Most people who have Chlamydia do not have symptoms so they do not know they have it
  • Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T


Genital Warts

  • Genital warts are a very common STI
  • The wart virus, which has many different strains, is transmitted by skin to skin contact during genital sex.
  • Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T



  • Gonorrhoea is a bacteria that infects the penis, vagina, anus and throat
  • You can have gonorrhoea without knowing it as not everyone gets symptoms.
  • The most common symptom is a discharge from the penis, vagina or anus.
  • Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T


Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis A is an acute (short term) viral infection that affects the liver.
  • Hepatitis A may also be spread sexually if there is anal contact with a person who has this infection.
    Download Fact Sheet


Hepatitis B

  • Hepatitis B is a viral infection that results in inflammation of the liver.
  • It can be passed on by unprotected vaginal or anal sex, by .sharing drug injecting equipment or during unsterile tattooing or body piercing.
    Download Fact Sheet


Hepatitis C

  • Hepatitis C is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is spread by blood to blood contact. The risk of transmission during sex is very unlikely unless blood is present.
    Download Fact Sheet



  • Genital herpes is a very common STI.
  • It is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by skin to skin contact during genital or oral sex.
  • The virus may cause blisters or sores on the skin but some people don’t get any symptoms.
  • Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)


Important information about early detection of HIV infection.
Only for Gay Men and for Men who have sex with men. (watch the F+RST video or YouTube link )



Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)

  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) is an infection caused by certain strains of chlamydia (types L1-L3).
  • It is transmitted by unprotected (no condom) vaginal and anal intercourse.
  • LGV is uncommon in Australia, and is mostly seen in tropical developing countries.
    Download Fact Sheet

Molluscum Contagiosum

  • Molluscum infection is caused by a virus which is spread by skin to skin contact.
  • It produces small pimples or lumps that are sometimes mistaken for warts

  • Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T


Mycoplasma Genitalium

  • Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacteria which is sexually transmitted.
  • It is easily treated with antibiotics but if left untreated can cause ongoing health problems.
  • Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

  • PID is caused by inflammation or infection of the reproductive system in the pelvis.
  • It may be caused by a STI.
    Download Fact Sheet


Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

  • PEP is the administration of 2 or 3 antiretroviral HIV medications for 28 days, commenced within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV infection.
  • PEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection following needlestick injuries to healthcare workers by 81%.
  • To be at risk of HIV you need to have had risky contact (eg penetrative sex, sharing a syringe) with a person who has HIV.
    Download Fact Sheet


Pubic lice (Crabs)

  • Pubic lice or crabs are small parasites that infest the pubic hair, armpits or chest hair
  • They are passed on by direct person-to-person contact with the area that is infested , not necessarily during sexual contact
    Download Fact Sheet



  • Scabies is an infestation of the skin by a tiny eight-legged mite called Sarcoptes scabiei.
  • It is usually transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. This can be sexual, or other close contact (such as
    parents holding babies), and it is thought that about 20 minutes of touching is required.
    Download Fact Sheet



  • Syphilis is transmitted during sexual contact with a person who has this infection.
  • Symptoms can include an ulcer like sore or rash. It is important to treat syphilis to avoid complications.
  • Download Fact Sheet E CS CT K T



  • Trichomoniasis is a genital infection caused by the organism Trichomonas vaginalis.
  • Some people do not have any symptoms. In women symptoms may include frothy yellow-green vaginal discharge, unpleasant vaginal odour, vaginal itching and burning
    Download Fact Sheet



  • Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra (the urine passage).
  • Urethritis more commonly affect s men but can affect both men and women and can be caused by sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
    Download Fact Sheet






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