Testing for STIs


As PrEP users are at increased risk for STIs (7) clinicians should screen for STIs (specifically gonorrhoea, chlamydia and infectious syphilis) every 3 months using the standard-of-care tests and procedures, and manage any detected STI as recommended by the Australian STI Management Guidelines (1). Partner notification should be undertaken using the most appropriate available resources.

It is important to note, that for MSM and other groups where relevant, STI tests must include a throat swab and anal swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea and vaginal swab should also be taken.

At each follow-up visit, patients taking PrEP should be reminded about:

  • prevention of STI acquisition and transmission
  • the need for quarterly STI testing
  • the need to present for testing and treatment whenever signs or symptoms of an STI appear.

Clinicians should ensure that the pathology service provider that they use has these swabs available.

The presence of an STI at follow-up testing does not prevent the ongoing prescription of PrEP.