Australia's Intelligent STI Check - Fast, Convenient and Discreet
Routine Screen - Recommended
The Routine Screen is a comprehensive test for the 6 most common STIs detectable through blood and urine analysis (Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C) even when they are asymptomatic and is recommended as part of your routine health management, if you are commencing a new sexual relationship, are concerned about a risk event, or are sexually active and have never had a STI test.
One of the reasons why STIs are so common is because they are often 'silent', making transmission likely and symptomatic detection difficult. People can be infected without showing any signs or symptoms, but if left un-diagnosed, all STIs can lead to dangerous long term health issues, including chronic pain, infertility, sterility and even cancer.
About the Tests
To conduct the Routine Screen, one blood and one urine sample are required.
The tests for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are urine tests that use nucleic acid amplification based techniques (PCR) to separately test for the presence of the bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. There is no swabbing involved, only a single urine sample is required.
The test for HIV is a blood test that detects the presence of HIV antibodies which are produced in response to exposure to the virus and found in the blood of someone who is infected.
The test for Syphilis is also a blood antibody detection test, which looks for evidence of antibodies which are produced in response to Treponema Pallidum - the bacterium that causes syphilis.
The test for Hepatitis B uses a blood sample to detect the presence of Hepatitis B antibodies which are produced in response to exposure to the virus and found in the blood of someone who is infected. This test is selected as it is able to identify the presence of a Hepatitis B infection before symptoms appear.
The test for Hepatitis C also uses a blood sample and detects the presence of the protein that immune systems make in response to the Hepatitis C virus.
There is no preparation required for either the blood or urine test, all we recommend is to hold off from visiting the bathroom for one hour prior to arriving at the collection centre.
Other than that, all you need to do is take your printed SmartHealth pathology request form to your nearest Sonic Healthcare collection centre. Click here to locate your nearest pathology collection centre.
You do not need to fast before the test.
Normal test results mean that there is no evidence of any of the infections tested for, at the time the samples were taken. Bacteria and antibodies can take time to develop, so if testing for a specific incident, initial tests may be negative if they are inside a STI's infection window - read more about 'testing windows'.
It is important for those who are at increased risk of infection to have screening tests performed on a regular basis to check for possible exposure. Increased risk would include any sexual encounter with a partner whose STI status is unknown.
An abnormal result (positive for the presence of a STI) for any of these tests will mean diagnosis and management of the infection. Anyone with an abnormal result should stop having sex until they have seen a doctor.
An abnormal test indicates the presence of a Chlamydia infection, and will require treatment which usually involves a course of antibiotics. Chlamydia is often easily treated and cured, but if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause severe short and long term health problems.
An abnormal test indicates the presence of a Gonorrhoea infection, and will require treatment which usually involves a course of antibiotics. Gonorrhoea is often easily treated and cured, but if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause severe short and long term health problems.
Whilst there is currently no cure for HIV, detection and early treatment of the virus and immune system monitoring can greatly improve long-term health. For the majority of people. the use of antiretroviral drugs can postpone (and sometimes prevent) HIV-related illnesses from developing, enabling those diagnosed to live long and productive lives.
If left undiagnosed and untreated HIV can develop into AIDS which can result in death.
An abnormal test for Syphilis indicates the presence of the infection, which usually requires treatment with antibiotics. Syphilis is curable, particularly if it is caught early however, if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to severe health problems.
An abnormal result for Hepatitis B will mean a diagnosis of the infection. Hepatitis B is treatable, and in most cases can be curable. A treatment plan for Hepatitis B should be developed by a doctor, and will usually involve medication, bed rest and fluids. Early detection is crucial. If left undiagnosed and untreated, Hepatitis B can lead to severe health problems.
An abnormal result for Hepatitis C will mean a diagnosis of the infection. Hepatitis C is treatable and in rare cases curable, and is usually best managed with medication, a healthy diet, fluids and rest. If left undiagnosed and untreated, Hepatitis C can lead to severe health problems.
We recommend the Routine Screen as an ongoing part of your routine health management.
The big problem with many STIs is that they are 'silent', meaning that for a long time they show no noticeable symptoms. As a result, it's possible to have an STI without being aware of it, so if you are sexually active it is important to make STI screening a regular part of your routine health check.
If left undiagnosed, all STIs can lead to dangerous long-term health issues, including chronic pain, infertility, sterility and even cancer.
A Routine Screen is also recommended in the following circumstances:
- anyone commencing a sexual relationship with any new partner
- anyone who is concerned about a risk event
- anyone who is sexually active and has never had an STI check-up.
Recent HIV and Hepatitis B Exposure
If you believe you have been exposed to HIV or Hepatitis B in the last 72 hours you should stop engaging in sexual activity and immediately see a doctor, hospital or specialised clinic in order to receive preventive post-exposure treatment (PEP). Click here to learn more about PEP.
If you have genital, oral or anal symptoms such as sores, rashes, lumps, itching, unusual discharge or bleeding, discomfort when urinating, lower pain or a sense of general un-wellness, it is important that you stop engaging in sexual activity and see a doctor as soon as possible.
Click here to read more about STI symptoms.
Non-Genital Infection of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea
Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia infections can occur at non-genital sites such as throat and rectum. If risk-factors exist for non-genital infection (oral sex and/or anal sex) it is recommended that assessment and testing be arranged through a doctor.
Herpes 1 & 2
Although blood tests for Herpes are available, they produce too many false negative, false positive and inconclusive results to make them useful. As such, SmartHealth does not offer Herpes 1 & 2 screening.
The best way to diagnose Herpes 1 & 2 is to see a doctor when symptoms are present. A specimen of the sore will be taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
If you believe you have Herpes symptoms, you should book an appointment with a doctor, or visit a sexual health clinic, in order to receive accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Click here to read more about Herpes symptoms.
STI Incubation Periods
If you are concerned about a recent sexual encounter with a partner whose STI status is unknown, please use the 'window period' guidelines to determine when you should be tested (the 'window period' is time during which an infection has been passed, but may be undetectable - so even though it may be present it cannot be diagnosed).