Australia's Intelligent STI Check - Fast, Convenient and Discreet
HIV & Syphilis
About the Tests
To conduct the HIV and Syphilis tests, only a single blood sample is required.
The test for HIV 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 an antibody detection test that looks for evidence of antibodies which are produced in response to Treponema Pallidum - the bacterium that causes syphilis.
How to Prepare for the Test
There is no preparation required for this blood test, 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.
A normal test result means that there is no evidence of either infection at the time of the test. Antibodies can take between three to six months to develop in the blood, so if testing for a specific incident, initial tests may be negative if they are inside this 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 for either of these tests will mean a diagnosis of HIV or Syphilis, or both.
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 your test is positive for HIV it is legally mandated that you tell your healthcare providers, as well as all current and future sexual partners, and/or anyone with whom you share needles. Counselling services are available that will help you to inform the people who need to know - please click here for more details.
An abnormal test result for Syphilis indicates the presence of the infection, which will require treatment with antibiotics. Syphilis is curable, particularly if it is caught early however, if left undiagnosed it can lead to severe health problems.
Who Should Have This Test?
The test for HIV and Syphilis is recommended for those who believe they may have been exposed to either or both of these infections. If you have been exposed to HIV or Hepatitis B in the last 72 hours you should go to a hospital emergency room or see a doctor immediately to receive preventive post-exposure treatment.
For anyone who has had a recent sexual encounter with an individual whose STI status is unknown, we recommend the more comprehensive ‘Routine Screen’, which tests for the presence of six of the most common STIs that are detectable through blood and urine analysis.
When to Have This Test?
If you are concerned about a 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).
If you've been notified or are concerned about exposure to HIV, its important that you stop engaging in sexual activity and see a doctor as soon as possible.
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.