The fun stuff
NSW Government

Getting an STI test is a normal part of a healthy and confident sex life, but sometimes it can feel daunting or confusing. But have no fear because we’re here to bust the myths for you.

MYTH 1: STI TESTING IS PAINFUL

Depending on what you’re being tested for, often an STI test is a simple pee in a cup. Sometimes you might need a swab of the throat, penis or vagina and sometimes you’ll need a blood test. But that’s it. It’s super quick and easy, and even the blood test is over in just a few seconds. Find out more about STI testing.

MYTH 2: STI TESTING IS EMBARRASSING

It can be daunting going for an STI test, especially if it’s your first time. But your doctor has seen it all before. They won’t be shocked or embarrassed and you shouldn’t be either. If you’re concerned about getting tested at your usual GP why not try a new GP, a Family Planning clinic, a Sexual Health Centre or AMS instead? Try our clinic locator.

MYTH 3: STI TESTING IS EXPENSIVE

STI tests can be completely free – as long as you’re eligible for a Medicare Card and go to a bulk billing doctor. Some specialist services also offer free testing, even if you don’t have Medicare.  Want to know more? We’ve got you covered.

MYTH 4: EVERYONE WILL KNOW I’VE HAD AN STI TEST

Nope, nope, nope. Your STI test results are always confidential, so there’s no need to worry about anyone finding out. Your STI results won’t even show up on your Medicare records. There are a few exceptions if you’re under 16, but you can find out more.

MYTH 5: I DON’T NEED AN STI TEST BECAUSE (INSERT EXCUSE HERE)

The fact is if you’re sexually active you’re always at risk of STIs. The best approach is to get tested:

  • every 6-12 months (just like a dental check-up)
  • when you’ve had unprotected sex (although…condoms people)
  • when you change sexual partners
  • or if you’re showing any symptoms. 

Want to know if you need one? Take our 30-second quiz and find out now.