How do I know if I have an STI or BBV?
Most STIs and BBVs have no obvious symptoms, so you and your partner/s may have one without knowing it. The only way to know is to get tested regularly.
STIs can sometimes show the following symptoms:
- discharge from the genitals
- pain when peeing
- pain during sex
- unusual sores lumps rashes
- unusual bleeding patterns
Sometimes symptoms go away by themselves, but if left untreated, the infection can stay in your body and cause harm.
BBVs sometimes cause symptoms, including loss of appetite, nausea and fever.
Testing for STIs and BBVs
You deserve to be treated with respect when you get tested, so it is important you find a health professional you trust and feel comfortable with.
You will be asked questions about your sex life and other activities to find out which tests may be appropriate for you. Some questions you might be asked include:
- Medication history (including hormones)
- Sexual history and previous STI BBV testing
- BBV risk history e.g. injecting, tattooing, piercing
Testing may involve a urine sample, blood sample and swabs from the vagina, penis, throat and or anus. The samples can be self-collected in private if you prefer. A routine test without symptoms does not require a physical exam.
You can fill out the Sexual Safety Quiz to help you understand more about your testing needs. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can take a copy of your quiz results to your appointment.
How are STIs and BBVs treated?
Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can be cured with antibiotics if they are detected early.
Viruses such as genital herpes, genital warts, HIV and hepatitis B can be treated with medication to effectively manage any symptoms. Hepatitis C can be cured with effective medication.