Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)


How do I treat HIV/AIDS?

There is still no known cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The most effective form of treatment is a combination of antiviral therapy, which attacks HIV directly. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, you might consider accessing post exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is a course of anti-HIV drugs which must be taken for 28 days and may prevent HIV infection. Generally, HIV clinics will do a blood test to determine the presence of antibodies. It can take up to three months in order to develop sufficient antibodies to show up on a test. This means, that if you'd had unprotected sex you will need get tested again in three months in order to have a definitive all clear.

How do I prevent catching HIV/AIDS?

Condoms and water-based lube are the most effective method to prevent the transmission of HIV during sex.  Transmission can also occur from sharing needles, from mother-to-child or through blood transfusions.  In a sexual setting, transmission occurs when the fluid (usually blood, cum, pre-cum, vaginal fluids or mucus) of a HIV positive person enters the bloodstream of a HIV negative person.
Being informed is important. If you are engaging in safe sex and get tested regularly there is no need for undue concern.  However, if you have had unprotected sex since your last sexual health screen it is recommended you get tested at your local doctor or sexual health clinic.

What are the symptoms of HIV/AIDS?

Most people who have contracted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) develop a glandular fever like illness (fever, sweats, diarrhoea, rash, mouth ulcers) between one and six weeks after becoming infected. This may last a few days to a few weeks. It is also possible that no symptoms will be present at all or that there will be no symptoms for several years.

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus which damages the immune system and can lead to serious infections. Our immune system is our bodies defence against disease, so damage to your immune system can lead to serious complications.
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) refers to a range of illnesses someone with HIV may get if their immune system is sufficiently compromised.
AIDS and HIV are often referred to together and used interchangeably, however there is an important distinction; having HIV or being HIV positive does not mean that person has AIDS or exhibits symptoms that define AIDS.  HIV is sexually transmitted and can also be transmitted via infected blood (sharing needles, syringes etc.).

How do I treat Hep C?

There is no known cure for Hepatitis C (Hep C). For some the virus will clear naturally within the first 12 months and for others long term medical supervision is required. There are some emerging antivirals now available, but sufficient rest, exercise and a well-balanced diet, avoiding alcohol and drugs also help to manage the disease.

How do I prevent catching Hep C?

Injecting drug use, body art and piercing using non-sterile equipment are considered higher risk activities in terms of Hep C transmission so it is important to always use sterile equipment. Medical and dental procedures can also pose some risk if adequate infection control measures are not taken.

What are the symptoms of Hep C?

Symptoms may include mild flu-like symptoms, tiredness, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, dark urine, nausea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. Like many viral infections, however, it is also quite possible there are no obvious symptoms.