When to start treatment

It’s important to start treatment straight away after getting a positive test, even if you haven't got any symptoms. The sooner you start, the more effective the treatment will be and the lower the chances are of the infection causing health problems.

Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you what type of treatment you’ll need. Don’t let privacy concerns hold you back – any information you share is confidential.

Types of treatment

The type of treatment you'll get will depend on the STI you have. Treatments range from pills to creams to injections.

Some STIs, such as chlamydia, can be cured with medication. This is the most common STI in young people, which is treated by taking a course of antibiotics.

Other STIs can’t be cured but can be managed with medication. For example, you can reduce genital herpes symptoms by using antiviral tablets and creams. And while there's no cure for HIV, taking medication every day helps people with HIV live healthy lives and prevents it from spreading sexually.

Read more about treatments for different STIs.

How to get STI treatment

You can buy some STI medications over the counter at your local chemist. For others you'll need a prescription. Your healthcare provider will be able to give you the right advice, treatment, and a prescription if you need one.

Costs of treatment

The cost of treating STIs depends on what type of treatment you need and for how long. If you’ve got a Health Care Card, most STI treatment medications will be cheaper or free.

For example, the antibiotics for treating chlamydia are usually between $10 and $20. With a Health Care Card you’ll only pay a $6 dispensing fee.

When it comes to HIV, treatment is free for all Queensland residents. You don't even need a Medicare card. Learn more about HIV treatment and costs on the Queensland Government and Queensland Positive People websites.

You can talk to your healthcare provider or local pharmacy about the cost of STI treatment and how to get cheaper medication.

Letting your partners know

Getting treatment for your STI is important. But it's just as important to tell people you’ve recently had sex with that they'll need to get tested and treated too. This is called contact tracing or partner notification and is something to talk to your healthcare provider about.

Last updated: April 2024