Archives for Quick Reference

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a curable sexually transmitted infection that causes small, often asymptomatic skin lesions, followed by swelling of the infected area. It can infect the genitals, anus, rectum, throat and lymph glands. LGV can be transmitted even when the person with LGV has no symptoms.

Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG)

Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is a curable STI caused by bacteria that affects the cervix, urethra and rectum. Transmission can occur if you have unprotected penetrative sex with someone who already has the infection. It is often asymptomatic but can cause health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and serious pregnancy complications. 


Shigella is a bacteria that causes an intestinal infection. It’s transmitted when infected faeces (poo) enters the mouth. Shigella is


Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin cannot be retracted (pulled back) over the glans (head) of the penis. Phimosis can cause difficulty urinating, swelling of the foreskin, and pain or discomfort during sexual activity. It can also make washing under the foreskin difficult, increasing the risk of infections such as balanitis. Phimosis can occur naturally or develop after an infection, injury or inflammation.

Anal or Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus)

Anal or genital warts are small, hard lumps caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can appear around the genitals, anus, inside the vagina, rectum, and urethra. HPV is transmitted via genital skin-to-skin contact with a person who has HPV.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

BV is caused by an imbalance of the bacteria that normally live in the vagina. When the normal acid environment changes within the vagina, it can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria which produces an odour.

Balanitis, Posthitis & Balanoposthisis

Balanitis, posthitis & balanoposthitis are conditions that cause inflammation of the head of the penis and foreskin. These conditions can be a sign of an STI OR a non-sexually transmitted skin infection, so diagnosis and treatment can vary.  Balanitis and posthitis occur more often in people with uncircumcised penises and will affect up to 10% of people with penises at least once in their lifetime. Most cases are easily treated with good hygiene, creams, and ointments.


Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can be transmitted during unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can infect the urethra, cervix, anus, throat, and eyes. Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial STI in Australia. Most people with chlamydia do not experience symptoms and do not know they have it until tested. Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious complications such as infertility and chronic pain.


Gonorrhoea (sometimes called ‘the clap’, ‘drip’ or ‘a dose’) is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). Gonorrhoea can infect the cervix, anus, throat, urethra, and eyes. It is transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex, open-mouth kissing, or through infected body fluids entering the eye. Gonorrhoea can be treated with antibiotics, though some strains are resistant to some antibiotics. Gonorrhoea will not go away without treatment.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A (HAV or Hep A) is a highly contagious infection that can cause inflammation or swelling of the liver. You get hepatitis A by coming into contact with the faeces (poo) of an infected person, or by consuming contaminated food, drink or ice. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact, particularly oral-anal sex (rimming). Hepatitis A is uncommon in Australia.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B (HBV or Hep B) is a blood-borne viral infection (BBV) that can cause long-lasting liver damage. It is transmitted through blood and sexual fluids, including semen, vaginal, and anal fluids. Hepatitis B can be acute (less than six months) or chronic (a lifelong illness that can be managed with antiviral medication). Adults have a 95% chance of recovering and developing natural immunity after infection. Hepatitis B is asymptomatic in many cases but can cause liver scarring and liver cancer if left untreated. Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C (HCV or Hep C) is a curable bloodborne virus (BBV) that causes liver inflammation and disease. It is transmissible by blood-to-blood contact. It can be passed through even small traces of blood and can survive outside the body for days or even weeks. The risk of passing on hepatitis C through sexual contact is very low, but any bleeding during sex, open sores or having other STIs or BBVs can increase the chance of sexual transmission.

Herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus)

Herpes is a common and very contagious infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes/HSV is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can cause sores or blisters in or around the mouth or genitals. Most herpes infections are asymptomatic or mild enough that many people do not realise they carry the virus. There is no cure for herpes, but medication can help manage and reduce the severity of symptoms, the frequency of outbreaks, and the risk of transmission.


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a blood-borne virus (BBV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects the immune system.

Molluscum Contagiosum (MC)

Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a common, generally harmless skin infection caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus. The virus causes small, smooth, round, pearly lumps with a central core. Molluscum contagiosum is not an STI, but can be transmitted through both sexual and non-sexual skin-to-skin contact. It is more common in children but can affect people of any age. The infection usually goes away by itself, but treatment can shorten the length of symptoms.

Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU or NGU)

Urethritis means inflammation of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). Non-specific urethritis (NSU) is any inflammation of the urethra that is not caused by gonorrhoea or chlamydia.


Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis often causes painful or difficult urination and pain in the groin, pelvic

Pubic Lice (Crabs)

Pubic lice (crab lice or ‘crabs’) are small, flat, light-brown parasites that cling to body hair. They’re easily transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact during sex. They can also be spread by contact with towels, undergarments and bedding used by an infected person. Pubic lice can cause small red areas, sores, and itching.

Tinea (Jock Itch)

Tinea is a common fungal skin condition. It can affect warm, moist areas, such as skin folds e.g. between toes, groin and under breasts.


Scabies is caused by a tiny mite that lives underneath the skin. The female mite is only just visible to the naked eye, about the size of a pin head.


Syphilis is caused by bacteria and is contagious in the early stages of transmission. Without treatment, it can cause irreversible damage to the brain, nerves and body tissues.

Thrush (Candidiasis)

Thrush is a fungal condition caused by an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans, which lives naturally all over the body, including the mouth, vagina and anus.


Trichomoniasis (trich for short) is a protozoan infection that causes inflammation of genitals.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are non-contagious bacterial infections of the urinary tract when bacteria get into the urethra. They are