STI Prevention

Preventing the transmission of STIs and HIV is about knowing the risks, and taking responsibility for minimising the risks through safer practices.  This can mean practising safer sex to reduce the risk of STI and HIV transmission, or safer injecting practices to reduce the risk of HIV or Hepatitis C transmission.  Practising safer sex is not just about using condoms.  If you are sexually active, particularly with shortterm partners, it is recommended that you get tested for STIs regularly.  It’s important to consider also that alcohol and drug use can influence your ability to make responsible decisions about your sexual health.

There are many ways to reduce the risks:

  • Practice safer sex – use condoms consistently when having vaginal, anal and oral sex.  Check out our guide to using condoms.
  • Try to avoid contact with body fluids such as semen during sexual contact, and don’t share fingers, hands or sex toys.
  • Remember that some sexual practices which may be described as ‘safer’ in terms of HIV transmission might still be risky for transmission of other STIs like syphilis or Hepatitis A.
  • Get tested regularly.  Keep in mind that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms.  Testing is available free of charge in many public hospitals.
  • Vaccinations are available for Hepatitis A and B free of charge from your STI/GUM clinic.
  • There is a post-exposure treatment available for HIV and Hepatitis B.  Details of this are in the section on PEP.
  • If using drugs, do not share any drug using paraphernalia – see more information in our Safer Injecting Practices section.
  • Educate yourself, know the risks, and take responsibility for your sexual health.