A guide that gets straight to the point about sex and relationships.

Basics of STIs

There are many types of STIs, and many do not always show symptoms. This is why testing is really important.

๐Ÿ“– 5 min read

What is an STI?

Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) are infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact, like during oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, and although less often, during manual sex
(masturbation). Different types of sex present greater risk than others, for different STIs.

๐Ÿง Did you know?

Using a new condom with each partner, every time you have sex, is the best way to prevent STIs.

STIs can be grouped into three different types:

i) Bacteria
ii) Parasites
iii) Viruses

Here's what you need to know about having and treating STIs.


The most common types of bacterial STIs are chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis. All STIs that are caused by bacteria are curable, which means they will go away completely with the right treatment at the right time.

๐Ÿง Did you know?

All bacterial STIs can be treated with antibiotics

Click to find out more about some of the most common bacterial STIs.


The most common types of parasitic STIs are trichomoniasis (or โ€˜trichโ€™), as well as scabies and pubic lice (โ€˜crabsโ€™).

๐Ÿง Did you know?

All parasitic STIs will completely go away with appropriate treatment.

Click to find out more about some of the most common parasitic STIs.


In Australia, the most common types of viral STIs are HIV, HPV (or genital warts), HSV (or genital herpes), and some forms of viral hepatitis. All viral STIs can be treated.

Click to find out more about some of the most common viral STIs.

In Summary

STIs affect all relationships, and many people who are sexually active will get an STI in their life. Having an STI doesnโ€™t make you 'dirty', any more than someone who gets a cold or the flu in winter. Remember: You can only get an STI through sexual contact with someone who has it. You cannot get an STI from sitting on a toilet seat.

Most STIs are easily preventable or treatable , and longer term complications are more likely to arise only if an STI isnโ€™t treated. If you're sexually active, it's important to go for regular STI tests at your doctor or a sexual health clinic.

โš ๏ธ For more information on STIs, you can check out the following sources:

- BetterHealth Channel (Vic)
- Sexual Health Victoria
- Melbourne Sexual Health Centre

Help us improve this info by letting us know how you found it.