Privacy laws and your personal information

What happens during an STI test is confidential by law, so there's no need to worry about anyone finding out.

This includes:

  • what you and your clinician talk about
  • what STI tests you’ve had
  • your test results
  • your personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth.

Your STI test results won't show on your Medicare records.

Sometimes the clinician may need to share your information with another health professional when it is necessary for your care. They'll normally talk to you about this.

There are also a few legal reasons they may share information. If you have any questions about how a clinician will use your information, ask them at the start of your appointment.

Parents and your medical information

Generally, if you’re over 14, your parents can't see your health records unless you agree to it. Make sure you tell your healthcare provider if you don’t want your parents to see your health record.

Once you turn 15 you can get your own Medicare card.

Youth Law Australia has more information about more about your rights at the doctor. You can also watch Talklaw Videos to learn about getting medical treatment on your own.

Do parents need to be involved in your care?

You can see a GP on your own and make decisions about your health without involving a parent.

There’s no set age for this. People’s ability to understand medical advice may differ, but it tends to be at about 14.

You won't need to involve your parents if your GP thinks you’re mature enough to:

  • understand your health issue/concern
  • understand the nature and risk of different treatment options
  • consent to getting treatment.

Reporting notifiable diseases

There are times when the law does allow a health professional to share your testing data. This happens when they must report a notifiable condition to Queensland Health. Some STIs are notifiable conditions, and reporting them helps control outbreaks and keep people safe.

If you have an STI that your health professional needs to report, they'll only share data about your test result. Queensland Health won't share any personal information that will identify you.

Safety of yourself and others

Health professionals have a legal duty of care to make sure you're safe. This means they are required by law to:

  • report any concerns about your health and safety, and other people's health and safety
  • disclose your records if they are subpoenaed, or if there's another legal right to access a record.

Your privacy rights

Go to Queensland Health’s health records and privacy page to find out how:

  • we handle your confidential information
  • to access your own medical records
  • to make a privacy complaint.

You can also check out the Australian Government’s health information about your privacy rights. This explains how private health providers must handle your information.

Last updated: March 2024