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Ask Big Sis: What’s It Like Getting Tested For STIs?

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Big Sis, I want to go for an STI test but I’m worried it will be a scary experience. What’s it like getting tested for STIs?

Gurrrl! So proud of you for asking this question. Don’t worry sis - I’ve got the info you need.

It’s totally normal to have all the feels about getting tested for STIs. One thing I can tell you is that however you’re feeling, getting tested for STIs is a smart move. Knowing your STI status means you can have the safe and healthy sex life you deserve.

I always find that knowing what to expect makes me feel a lot more prepared and braver. So here are some key facts for you moghel.

Where Can You Get Tested?

You can get tested at your local clinic, most pharmacies, or at a private doctor or private sexual health clinic.

Do I Need A Booking?

Both public and private STI testing places can get busy, so it’s a good idea to make an appointment so that you know you’ll get the test you need.

Is It Expensive To Get Tested?

Testing is free at all government clinics. At pharmacies and private doctors you might have to pay a fee that will vary depending on what tests you do and how many tests you do. If you’re worried about the cost, it’s better to call them to find out before you go.

What Does The Test Entail?

First the nurse or doctor is likely to ask you a bunch of questions to understand your sexual health. This might include stuff like whether you are sexually active, if you use protection, whether you are on any contraception, and info around your period or vaccines you might have had for STIs. This is all totally normal and it’s important for you to be honest. It’s so the healthcare provider can make a good decision about what tests you might need. The actual STI tests may entail either peeing on a stick, or taking a sample of your vaginal fluids (discharge) with a cotton bud. For HIV testing you’ll usually get a finger prick test that collects a little blood.

When Will I Get My Results?

You should get your results within a week, via text message or a phone call. It’s normal to feel some nerves when waiting for your results, but remember if you’re super worried, or are upset about your results, you can reach out to us on the Big Sis Helpline so we can put you in touch with some organisations who can give you some extra emotional support (Monday - Friday, 7 - 7, Saturdays 8.30 - 12.30) 0800 12 84 55.

Remember fam, a positive STI test doesn’t mean you are a bad person, or that you’ll never have sex again. All it means is that you know your status, and can get the treatment plan that will help you have a healthy and safe sex life.

You got this sis! Good luck with getting that test!
Big Sis