STI screening recommendations for priority populations

Asymptomatic young people under 25 years
  • These recommendations should apply regardless of whether condoms are used or not.
  • Patients with genital symptoms should have appropriate diagnostic tests and also be opportunistically screened for other STIs.

Annually (for those who have changed sexual partner/s)

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (urine/SOLVS/cervix/throat/anus)
  • Hepatitis B serology – if hepatitis B status is unknown and patient has not completed a course of hepatitis B vaccination, offer testing and if no serological evidence of immunity, i.e. anti-HBs negative, offer immunization. Testing is unnecessary if hepatitis B status is known or if a patient has completed a course of hepatitis B vaccination.

More frequent screening

  • More frequent testing may be required following a particular risk exposure.
  • Repeat testing for chlamydia/gonorrhoea is recommended three months after treatment.

5-yearly

  • HPV test: 5-yearly (unless abnormal, then according to HPV test results)

* Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine, 2004 Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Sexually Transmissible Infections among Priority Populations (external site) (Last accessed Jan 2013), RACP, Sydney.

Men who have sex with men
  • These recommendations should apply regardless of whether or not condoms are used. A regular partner, increasing age or bisexuality is not necessarily protective of an STI.
  • Patients with genital symptoms should have appropriate diagnostic tests and should be opportunistically screened for other STIs.

With or without symptoms, all men who have had sex with another man in the previous year should be offered tests for STIs at least once a year in the following way:

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (throat/urine/anus)
  • Hepatitis A, B and C serology. If hepatitis A and B status unknown and patient has not completed a course of hepatitis A and B vaccination, offer testing and if no serological evidence of immunity, i.e. anti-HA negative and/or anti-HBs negative, offer appropriate immunization. Testing is unnecessary if hepatitis A and B status are known or if a patient has completed a course of hepatitis A and B vaccination
  • Syphilis
  • HIV serology (if HIV-negative).gonorrhoea (throat/urine/anus)

Clinical indicators of increased STI/BBV risk

These include:

  • any anal sex
  • any anal symptoms (bleeding, itching, discharge, pain)
  • HIV-positive
  • past history of gonorrhoea or chlamydia
  • sexual contact with someone recently diagnosed with an STI
  • mental illness
  • recreational drug use
  • request for a test.

More frequent screening

Testing three to six monthly is recommended for men who attend sex-on-premises venues (SOPVs), beats, use recreational drugs or seek partners via the internet or mobile apps.

Follow-up testing

  • People diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhoea should be retested in three months.
  • For people with HIV, HBV surface antibody levels should be checked annually.

* Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine, 2004 Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Sexually Transmissible Infections among Priority Populations (external site) (Last accessed Jan 2013), RACP, Sydney.

Asymptomatic Aboriginal people aged 16 - 29 years
  • These recommendations should apply regardless of whether condoms are used or not.
  • Patients with genital symptoms should have diagnostic tests and also be opportunistically screened for other STIs and BBVs.

Bi-annually (for those who have changed sexual partner/s)

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (urine/SOLVS/cervix/throat/anus)
  • Hepatitis B serology – if hepatitis B status unknown and patient has not completed a course of hepatitis B vaccination, offer testing and if no serological evidence of immunity, i.e. anti-HBs negative, offer immunization. Testing is unnecessary if hepatitis B status is known or if a patient has completed a course of hepatitis B vaccination.

More frequent testing

  • More frequent testing may be required following a particular risk exposure
  • Repeat testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea is recommended three months after treatment

5-yearly (females only)

  • HPV test: 5-yearly (unless abnormal, then according to HPV test results)

Watch the healthy conversations video (external site) and refer to Let's Yarn (external site) for tips on culturally appropriate ways to discuss sexual health with Aboriginal clients.

* Silver BJ, et al. Incidence of curable sexually transmissible infections among adolescents and young adults in remote Australian Aboriginal communities: analysis of longitudinal clinical service data. Sex Transm Infect, 2015; 91:135–141. doi:10.1136/sextrans-2014-051617

Asymptomatic sexually active people who injected drugs in last 12 months
  • The lifestyles of people who inject drugs may also involve sexual risk taking behaviours. Therefore, the sexual health needs of people who inject drugs, as well as health issues associated with their drug practice, need to be addressed.
  • These recommendations should apply regardless of whether condoms are used or not, and whether or not safe injecting practices are reported.
  • Patients with genital symptoms should have appropriate diagnostic tests and also be opportunistically screened for other STIs.

Annually

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (urine/SOLVS/cervix/throat/anus)
  • Hepatitis A and B serology. If hepatitis A and B status unknown and patient has not completed a course of hepatitis A and B vaccination, offer testing and if no serological evidence of immunity, i.e. anti-HA negative and/or anti-HBs negative, offer appropriate immunization. Testing is unnecessary if hepatitis A and B status are known or if a patient has completed a course of hepatitis A and B vaccination..
  • Hepatitis C serology (if hepatitis C virus [HCV] negative).
  • Syphilis.
  • HIV serology (if HIV negative).

More frequent screening

More frequent testing may be required following a particular risk exposure.

5-yearly (females only)

HPV test: 5-yearly (unless abnormal, then according to HPV test results)

* Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine, 2004, Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Sexually Transmissible Infections among Priority Populations(external site) (Last accessed January 2013), RACP, Sydney.

Current sex workers

First visit

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (urine/SOLVS/cervix/throat/anus NAAT)
  • Hepatitis A and B serology. If hepatitis A and B status unknown and patient has not completed a course of hepatitis A and B vaccination, offer testing and if no serological evidence of immunity, i.e. anti-HA negative and/or anti-HBs negative, offer appropriate immunization. Testing is unnecessary if hepatitis A and B status are known or if a patient has completed a course of hepatitis A and B vaccination.
  • Hepatitis C serology.
  • Syphilis.
  • HIV serology (if HIV-negative).

5-yearly (females only)

  • HPV test: 5-yearly (unless abnormal, then according to HPV test results)

Follow-up patients

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (urine/SOLVS/cervix/throat/anus NAAT): Three-monthly – if 100% condom use, more frequently if <100% condom use.
  • Serology: 12-monthly (hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis; hepatitis A and B only if not immunised).
  • If condom breakage:
    • follow-up within three days (set baseline)
    • repeat swabs in two weeks
    • baseline serology – repeat at three months.
  • Medical certificate: Can be certificate of attendance only and not a 'clearance', i.e. should only state date screening was performed.
  • Exclusion periods: Seek advice from an experienced sexual health physician.
Pregnant women

At booking visit

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (urine/SOLVS/cervix/throat/anus)
  • Hepatitis B and C serology
  • Syphilis
  • HIV serology

At 28 weeks (all women in the Goldfields, Kimberley, Midwest and Pilbara and other at-risk women)

  • Syphilis
  • HIV serology

At 36 weeks (all women in the Goldfields, Kimberley, Midwest and Pilbara and other at-risk women)

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (urine/SOLVS/cervix/throat/anus)
  • Syphilis
Other populations
  • Refugees and new arrivals
  • Transgender
  • Women who have sex with women

* Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine, 2004, Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Sexually Transmissible Infections among Priority Populations (external site) (Last accessed January 2013), RACP, Sydney.