Unique factors that place youth at risk for STIs

insufficient screening
confidentiality concern
biology
lack of access to healthcare
multiple sex partners

Knowing when you should get tested for a sexually transmissible infection (STI) can be a huge advantage and really is the responsible thing to do for your health.

And we know what you’re thinking: it won’t happen to me. Really? Just keep in mind that most sexually transmissible infections can often show no symptoms, meaning you may be infected and not know it.  Of course the best way to reduce the risk of getting an STI is to use condoms. They are the best form of protection to help stop the transmission of STIs.

Complete the risk assessment tool to see if you should be getting checked out.

How to get tested

Unsure how to ask your doctor about getting an STI test? That’s ok.  A good way of doing it is to make your STI test part of another hospital visit. Say something like:  I know I’m here to get a prescription, but I’d like to get an STI test too. Don’t be embarrassed, your doctor has heard it all before and it’s completely confidential. 

Health workers, for example a Doctor or a Nurse must take confidentiality very seriously. Generally, they will talk to you before sharing info you have given them with other people or organisations.

But, if they think you or someone else is at risk of significant harm or have any concerns about your safety, welfare or well-being, they may have to share the information with other people without your permission.

There are a number of different ways to test for sexually transmissible infections (STIs).  In fact, there are a few different tests that might apply to you. The most common test for young people is a urine sample.

You can do some of the STI tests yourself if you buy a test kit. But that’s only if you don’t have any symptoms.

If you do have symptoms it may be best that you have a physical examination by your doctor. If you’re really uncomfortable with being examined you can always say no…it’s entirely up to you.

Urine Sample

Otherwise known as peeing in a cup or jar, this test covers STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea and is the most commonly offered test for guys. Girls can opt to do a urine sample or a vaginal swab. The choice is yours.

Vaginal Swab

This is a test you can perform yourself or a doctor or nurse can take the swab for you. It tests for STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea and is the most commonly offered test to girls.

Anal Swab

This is another test you can perform yourself or a doctor or nurse can take the swab for you. It tests for STIs like rectal chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Throat Swab

The doctor or nurse may take a swab from the back of your throat. It’s really quick but might make you cough. It tests for STIs passed on through oral sex like chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Blood Test

Getting a blood test involves taking a small amount of blood from you (usually from a vein in your arm) using a sterile needle. The blood taken is then stored in a tube before it’s sent off to a laboratory where it’s tested. These tests can be used to identify syphilis, HIV and hepatitis.

Get yourself Tested- The breakdown