Prevention of sexually transmissible infections

There are many ways to keep you and your partner safe from contracting or passing on STIs. It is important to practise these behaviours in combination with each other to give yourself the best protection.

Practise safe sex

Safe sex means making sure that both partners consent to sexual activity, and that you both feel respected and not pressured. It’s okay to say no if you are not in the mood.

  1. Talk openly with your sexual partner about sexual health.
  2. Always use protection like a condom or other barrier methods if you have vaginal, oral or anal sex.
  3. Don’t have sex if your partner has a sore or lump around their mouth, genitals or anal area.
  4. Avoid sharing sex toys. Sharing sex toys can spread STIs. Each person sharing toys should use a new condom, and wash sex toys thoroughly each time you use them.
  5. For high-risk groups, using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) reduces the risk of HIV. Know how to access PEP if you think you may have been at risk. For more information visit Get PEP.
  6. If the condom breaks or you didn’t use a condom, see your healthcare professional for a routine STI test. 

Get tested regularly

Regular STI testing is important to maintain good sexual health, prevent the spread of STIs and ensure infections are treated as soon as possible. Many STIs have no symptoms and if left untreated can lead to serious health complications.

Make sure that you and your sexual partner are checked for STIs before you start having sex.

For more information on the testing process go to the testing page. Go to the resources page for tailored information on STIs and STI testing.

Always use protection

Use protection every time as part of safe sex behaviours, to reduce your risk of catching and passing on STIs.

  • A condom can protect you from catching or spreading an STI and from unintended pregnancy. Even if you’re using a different method of contraception to prevent pregnancy, you still need to use a condom to protect you from STIs. 
  • Using condom-safe lubricants that are water or silicone based can help reduce the chance of the condom tearing.
  • A dental dam is a thin piece of latex that should be used during oral sex to prevent the spread of STIs. It can be placed over the genitals or anus (back passage) before giving oral sex.

Single use only

Condoms and dental dams should never be re-used. Always use a new one and make sure to use it correctly.

Condoms don’t protect against all STIs

Condoms offer protection from many STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.

However, condoms can't protect you from infections that can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes, genital warts, mpox, pubic lice, or syphilis.

Get vaccinated

Vaccinations are available for hepatitis B and HPV. For more information on high-risk groups, eligibility and vaccination, see:



1800RESPECT is a confidential information, counselling and support service. It is available for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support people impacted by domestic, family or sexual violence. You can contact them by phone or online chat anytime.


The Get PEP website provides detailed information about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This includes what it is, when and how to take it, and where to access it in Australia. You can can visit their website 24 hours a day 7 days a week to learn more and find your nearest location to get PEP.
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