Sexual health and blood-borne viruses information for GPs

This page should be used as an easy guide for up to date information about sexually transmitted infection (STI) and blood-borne virus (BBV) prevention, testing and treatment, and special resources for priority groups.

WA Health’s clinical guidelines for managing STIs and BBVs can be found in the Silverbook

Testing and Diagnosis


Detailed information about STI and BBV testing, including history and examination, can be found in the Silverbook. The STI self testing card (PDF 346KB) demonstrates how patients can self-collect swabs and urine samples. It is also important to consider taking throat and anal swabs where appropriate.

Online testing

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing forms can be downloaded from Couldihaveit (external site) for people who are asymptomatic but think they might be at risk.

National HIV, HBV and HCV Testing Policies

These national testing policies (external site) are aimed at health professionals ordering HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B related tests, and receiving and interpreting results.


Informed patient consent is vital before undertaking HIV testing, and you should provide your patient with this information before a HIV test.

Rapid HIV testing is available at the WA AIDS Council's M Clinic (external site)


Medical practitioners must complete the appropriate notification forms for all patients diagnosed with a notifiable STI, viral hepatitis or HIV, as soon as possible after confirmed diagnosis.

Whether a patient/client tests positive or negative for HIV (or another STI or BBV), is important to ensure that results are conveyed in an appropriate manner.



Details of treatment options for STIs and BBVs can be found in the Silverbook

New Hepatitis C treatments

Oral, well-tolerated and effective 8-12 week courses of Hepatitis C treatments are now available on the PBS and can be prescribed by GPs. See the hepatitis C section of the Sliver Book for information about GP-initiated hepatitis C treatments.

S100 Community Prescribers

S100 medications for hepatitis B or HIV, can be prescribed by GPs who:

  • have been accredited by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM)
  • are approved by WA Health
  • maintain continuing professional development in the field.
Prevention and Education

When discussing sexual health, reproductive health, STIs and/or BBVs with clients/patients, this is a good opportunity to reinforce preventative measures such as using condoms and water-based lubricant consistently, or ensuring the use of clean needles and syringes to prevent transmission of STIs and BBVs. It is also important to assess the contraceptive needs of the client, including emergency contraception where necessary.

Prophylaxis for HIV

There are two types of prophylaxis for HIV - Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Pre-exposure prophylaxis

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an important new prevention option and can provide highly effective biomedical prevention of HIV in HIV-negative individuals. A Government funded PrEP trial is now available in WA for eligible clients. For more information about the trial please visit PrEP IT WA (external site).

Post-exposure prophylaxis

PEP is a course of antiretroviral drugs (e.g. Truvada® [300mg Tenofovir and 200 mg Emtricitabine] once daily for four weeks) that should be commenced as soon as possible (and definitely within 72 hours), following exposure to HIV. PEP may help reduce the risk of HIV transmission after unsafe sex, sharing of injecting equipment or a needle-stick injury when it is known or likely that there has been a high risk of exposure.

For more information about PEP, including how to assess risk, find out about availability, refer patients and provide follow-up care, see the Department of Health's operational directive Protocol For Non-Occupational Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (NPEP) To Prevent HIV In Western Australia (external site) to be updated shortly. See the National HIV PEP Guidelines (external site) for more information. 

Patients who identify themselves as having had a high risk exposure to HIV may also call the PEP line (1300 767 161).


A range of resources on STIs, sexual health, reproductive health and relationships (Healthy WA) and BBVs (Healthy WA) are available to download for clients/patients.

Workforce Development and Guidelines

Silver Book

Find out all you need to know on STI and BBV management in the Silverbook.

Training Calendar

A range of courses and events are available to professionals working in the area of sexual health and/or BBVs, see the Sexual health and blood-borne viruses training calendar for more information.

Online Learning Opportunities

ASHM delivers a range of online education and training opportunities (external site) for GPS including courses about HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs and BBVs.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) and the SHBBVP have developed a hepatitis online educational program (external site) for GPs interested in extending their knowledge of hepatitis B and C. These programs are accredited with the RACGP Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development Program.

ECU’s STI e-learning: A resource for health professionals (external site), increases the knowledge and skills of medical practitioners, nurses and other professionals in WA to effectively manage STIs.

Research, Evaluation and Surveillance

Reports describing the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs) in Western Australia (WA) are available. These reports include the results of routine surveillance for genital chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV and AIDS, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.


SiREN (external site) is the WA Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network, and is coordinated by the Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health (CERIPH).

SiREN is a partnership between researchers, service providers, and policymakers and facilitates evidence-informed policy and practice in WA.

Priority Groups

Aboriginal people

A range of sexual health and BBV information regarding Aboriginal people is available, including downloadable information pamphlets and a video with advice on how to start conversations about sexual health and BBVs.

Let’s Yarn! (external site) has been developed to make it easier for educators, parents and health professionals to talk to young Aboriginal people about ways of developing strong, safe and healthy relationships.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups

Sometimes language can be a barrier when discussing sexual health and blood-borne viruses. Multicultural SHBBV fact sheets (healthy WA) are available in a number of different languages to assist health professionals to have discussions with their patients.

Your Cultural Lens (external site) is an interactive training resource in cross-cultural communication. It was developed to help health professionals talk about sexual health and BBVs with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

Gay and other homosexually active men

In WA, information and services for gay and other homosexually active men are available from The WA AIDS Council (external site). In addition to this, The MClinic (external site) is a free STI/HIV screening service for men who have sex with men.

Mobile populations/Travellers

Information directed at mobile populations is available, including:

People living with HIV (PLHIV)

Information is available for PLHIV about living well with HIV, as well as their rights and responsibilities (healthy WA).

The WA AIDS Council also provide information about living well with HIV (external site).

People who inject drugs

Information and services for people who inject drugs is available from Peer Based Harm Reduction WA (formerly WASUA) (external site) and Hepatitis WA (external site)

Young people

Could I have it (external site) is a website that provides information to young people in WA about safe sex and STIs, free online testing for asymptomatic people at risk, and where to go for testing or treatment.

Get the Facts (external site) is a culturally inclusive website that gives young people in WA advice and accurate information on relationships and safer sex.

Let’s Yarn! (external site) has been developed to make it easier for educators, parents and health professionals to talk to young Aboriginal people about ways of developing strong, safe and healthy relationships

Sexual Health Quarters (external site) offers a number of services around STIs and BBVs, including; STI testing and treatment (drop-in and appointment), contraceptive consults, counselling in relation to issues around STI/BBVs (free for under 25s), a confidential helpline, and training for professionals working in the area.

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