Recommended Timeframes

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The following table provides general information on how frequently to be tested for STIs. Please use the table as a guide, but note that testing frequency should be discussed individually with your doctor or nurse practitioner. Testing frequency should be determined by the type of sex work you do, the services you offer, sexual risks and symptoms. In some states and territories frequency is determined by legislation or regulation, mandated by workplace rules, or is self regulated.

Depending on sexual risks and symptoms, testing may simply involve one swab or urine test and one blood test, or in some cases, a self collected swab. The complete list of infections and tests are listed in the table below. The window period between exposure and a positive test varies depending on the type of test used.

Should a condom break or you experience symptoms, visit a sexual health centre.

Test SiteRegular testing intervalTesting after potential exposure
Chlamydia3-monthlyWhen you have symptoms 
7-14 days after a potential exposure
When a sexual partner tests positive
Vagina (cervix)*
Urine
Rectum (if anal sex)*
Throat
Gonorrhoea3-monthly1-2 weeks after potential exposure
When you have symptoms 
When a sexual partner tests positive.
Vagina (cervix)*
Urine
Rectum (if anal sex)*
Throat
Hepatitis AOnce, before immunisationIf you are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, test two weeks after a potential exposure risk.
Blood test
Hepatitis BOnce, before immunisationIf you are not vaccinated against hepatitis B and have an exposure risk, wait at least four weeks before testing, as it is unlikely to be detected by a test until then.
Blood test
Hepatitis COnly if blood exposureGet tested for hepatitis C straight after potential exposure.
You will need to be tested again after 3 months and possibly again at six months.
Blood test
HIVAt least twice a yearIf you think you have been exposed to HIV, see a doctor to get PEP within 72 hours. Follow up with a test as instructed by a doctor. 
Most people who have been exposed to HIV will test positive within 1 month. For a small number of people, HIV may take up to 3 months to be detected on a test.
Blood test
Rapid test (finger-prick or saliva)
Self Test/At-Home Testing (finger-prick)
Syphilis3-6 monthlyIt is possible to detect syphilis in a blood test 1-2 weeks after a potential exposure, but more likely to be detected from 6 weeks.
Blood test
HerpesIf symptoms
appear
It is not recommended to test people who do not have any symptoms of herpes
If symptoms are present, it is best to test when the blister is less than 4 days old
Swab from a blister or sore
Trichomoniasis3-monthlyTest when you have symptoms and have tested negative for other STI. 
You may have to request a test. Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
Urine test
Vaginal/cervical swab*
Thrush (Candidiasis)If symptoms
appear
N/A – this is not an STI
Vaginal swab*
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)If symptoms
appear
N/A – this is not an STI
Vaginal swab*

* May be a self-collected swab
** In the case of a high-risk event, test at 7 days after potential exposure

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