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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need to make an appointment?

An appointment is necessary if you:

  • Have symptoms of a sexually transmissible infection (STI)
  • Require treatment
  • Require PrEP
  • Require post exposure prophylaxis for HIV
  • Wish to discuss your condition with a clinician
  • Require a sexual health certificate
  • Require HIV specialist services
  • Need counselling.

Please call the Sexual Health service to make a booking - contact details in right hand column.

If you do not have the above requirements, you may use the Express Walk in Services.

Are there any fees for testing?

Gold Coast Sexual Health Service is a free service funded by the Health Department.

This includes visitors to Australia and those without Medicare cards.

Is parking available?

There is no parking available at our service and fines apply for clients who park in no parking or restricted areas.

Many of the streets in the immediate vicinity of Southport Health Precinct have 2-hour parking restrictions.

There is paid parking within walking distance.

Do I need a Medicare card?

Yes, if you are an Australian Citizen.

Am I eligible for express screening?

You can have express screening if you do not have any symptoms and nobody you have had sex with has told you that they have an STI.

When do I get my test results?

Most results are available within 3-7 working days after testing.

You may elect to receive your results by either SMS or email.

If a result is positive a nurse may phone you to discuss treatment options.

You do not have to return in person to receive results, unless you require a medical review or treatment.

What if I am late for my appointment?

New clients are required to arrive 10 minutes prior to their allotted appointment time to complete a registration.

Clients arriving late for their appointments may not be able to be seen and a new appointment time will have to be made.

Can I have a screen if I have my period?

Yes, if you are attending for an express screen with no symptoms.

If you require an examination, this can still be done, but you may be more comfortable waiting until your period is finished.

How soon after having sex can I get tested?

Infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea may take 1 – 2 weeks to show in a test.

HIV and syphilis may take up to 3 months.

This is called the window period.

If you suspect you have been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours please call immediately to make an appointment or go to your nearest emergency department and request post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Can I go to the toilet before my appointment?

Please do not go to the toilet to pass urine for a minimum one hour before attending for an STI check, especially if you are experiencing symptoms.

Are my personal details confidential?

Gold Coast Sexual Health Service takes your confidentiality and security of your health records very seriously.

Your medical information is confidential and is not shared with others, including partners or other health care providers, unless we have your permission, mandated by legislation or to prevent harm to yourself or others.

Some infections require notification to Queensland Health, however full names are not used.

The Australian Government’s My Health Record is a personally controlled electronic health record that has been created by the Australian Government.

Within this system, your health information such as your health summaries, blood tests, scan results and all medications that you have been dispensed from a pharmacy may appear on My Health Record.

Records of medications which are supplied through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and obtained at a pharmacy may also be uploaded onto your My Health Record.

You can choose to opt out of My Health Record by 15th November 2018.

Alternatively, you can request any results are not sent to My Health Record; you can set access controls on your record and you can remove documents from My Health Record.

If you have not opted out of My Health Record, there may be instances where results of some tests ordered through Gold Coast Sexual Health Service, such as medical imaging (X-rays and scans), may be uploaded onto your health summary.

Can I have a rapid test for HIV?

A rapid test is on-the-spot testing for HIV, and the result is available in 20 minutes. A rapid test still has a window period of 3 months.

In most cases a regular blood test for HIV is the preferred method of testing.

Please make an appointment if you think you require a rapid test and discuss testing options at the beginning of your consultation, to see if this is the right test for you.

Do I need to fast if I want a blood test?

You do not need to fast before having a routine check for STIs.

Make sure you have had plenty of water and something to eat if you are planning to have a blood test for STIs at our service.

My partner had a check- up and was OK, does that mean I'm OK?

Not necessarily – you can’t rely on your partners results to know that you are free of infections.

You might have an infection that you hadn't passed on to your partner by the time they had their check- up.

The only way you can know if you are free of infection is to have a test yourself.

What is an STI?

Sexually transmissible infections, or STIs, are infections that can be passed on through vaginal, anal or oral sex.  Most STIs are transmitted in sexual fluids, and some can be passed on from skin-to-skin genital contact.

STIs can infect the penis (urethra), vagina/ vulva, cervix (neck of the womb), anus, the throat and genital skin.  They are caused by microscopic organisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites.

Most STIs don’t have symptoms and you might not know you have been infected. If you do get symptoms, the most common ones are a discharge from your vagina or penis, pain when urinating (peeing), unusual vaginal bleeding (including bleeding after sex or in between periods), pain during sex, or sores, lumps or blisters.

Last updated 17 Feb 2020