The main points
- Family Planning Victoria has been providing expert, confidential BBV/STI check-ups to Victorians of all ages, genders, sexual and gender preference, and backgrounds for over forty years.
Consultations can be bulk billed (which means you must be registered for Medicare). We do charge a small annual administration fee.
If you do not have an Australian Medicare card you will be charged the full fee for any services you receive, as well as the cost of any pathology tests ordered.
Family Planning Victoria has been providing expert, confidential Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) & Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs) check-ups to Victorians of all ages, genders, sexual and gender preference, and backgrounds for over forty years.
We also provide expert advice and care on a broad range of reproductive and sexual health matters.
What does an STI/BBV check-up involve?
For an STI screen - unless a person has symptoms, most of the time people do not need to have a physical examination and they will just be asked to provide a urine sample for lab testing. If you have anal sex you may be asked to self-collect an anal swab for lab testing.
For a BBV screen – a blood sample is collected using a small needle.
Whichever samples are taken – they are sent to an external, accredited laboratory which uses state of the art technology to perform the testing. Depending upon the test requested it can take up to one week for the result report to be received at Family Planning Victoria.
How much does it cost?
Consultations can be bulk billed (which means you must be registered for Medicare). There is a small annual administration fee. This gives you unlimited access to Family Planning Victoria clinics for one year. You also receive a 10% discount on selected items from our Resource Centre Bookshop.
The annual administration fee does not give priority access to clinic services and might not be charged in cases of genuine hardship.
If you do not have an Australian Medicare card you are welcome to attend a Family Planning Victoria clinic, however you will be charged the full fee for any services you receive, as well as the cost of any pathology tests ordered. You may be able to claim part or all of these fees back from your private health or travel insurance. It is recommended that you check with your insurance provider before you attend a Family Planning Victoria clinic.
What to expect when you attend our service:
Step 1: Registration
If this is your first visit to Family Planning Victoria, you will be asked to complete a registration form. If you need help completing it, one of our friendly reception staff will be able to help you. Please ask our staff if you need an interpreter to use our service so we can book this for you.
Once registered, you will be asked to take a seat in the waiting area. If you have a booked appointment we will make every effort to see you as close to your appointment time as possible.
If you are accessing the service as a ‘drop in’ (i.e. you have not booked an appointment) then a Nurse will call you (by your first name only) and, once in a private space, confirm your identity by asking your full name, your date of birth and your current address.
Waiting times for the drop in clinic can vary but you will generally be seen by a nurse within 15 minutes of arrival. This initial consultation is used to establish your needs and direct you to the most appropriate health professional on duty (i.e. a nurse or a doctor).
Your visit to our clinic is confidential. Our services operate according to relevant legislation regarding the storage of, access to and privacy of your health information.
Step 2: Triage of clients accessing the drop in service
If you are accessing our clinic as a ‘drop in’, the triage nurse will ask you some personal questions once you are in a private space. These questions are asked in order to assess your reason for visiting us, to obtain a brief sexual and (if appropriate) reproductive health assessment, and to decide which health professional we should direct you to. Sometimes we may refer clients to an external service which is better able to help; the reason for this will be fully explained. If our service is very busy we will give you the option to return on another day – you may prefer a booked appointment if this happens.
Step 3: The consultation
After triage, a doctor or nurse will see you in another private room and ask some more detailed personal questions about your general health, sexual health and reproductive health (if appropriate).
Your doctor or nurse will discuss with you any risks you may have experienced or be concerned about or unaware of, what tests or treatment or advice is appropriate, and options for minimising any future risks and maximising your sexual and reproductive health going forward.
Family Planning Victoria has a sex positive perspective. Please do not feel worried about sharing any experiences or concerns with our doctors or nurses. We are here to help everyone.
Step 4: Examination and tests
It may be very simple, e.g. just providing a urine sample. Sometimes part of a reproductive and/or sexual health check-up may involve: having a genital examination; providing a urine sample; swabs from the vagina, anus and/or throat; and/or blood tests. All recommended examinations and tests will be fully discussed with you.
- If you require an examination, the doctor or nurse may need you to undress from the waist down. We are discreet and respectful if we need to do this. Your privacy is assured.
- Genital examination and testing is mostly painless but some tests may cause minor, temporary discomfort.
- After tests are taken, specimens are sent to a laboratory. Some results are available within 5 days, whilst others may take one or two weeks. We will explain whether you need to phone us or come back to get your results.
- Depending on the outcome of your consultation, you may be treated on the day of your visit or given a prescription to take to a local pharmacy. There may be a small cost involved with this.
- Vaccinations may be offered if appropriate.
Some other things to consider
Family Planning Victoria is a major provider of reproductive and sexual health education and training for healthcare professionals (nurses and doctors) in Victoria. You may be asked if you are happy for a non Family Planning Victoria health professional to attend your consultation so that they can gain experience in our area of expertise. Your participation is voluntary and deciding not to agree will not affect your care in any way.
Family Planning Victoria often has an active research program. You may be offered the opportunity to participate in one of our clinical trials or studies. Again, participation is voluntary and deciding not to agree will not affect your care in any way.
Where to get more information, support or advice
- Contact your local doctor (GP)
- Contact Family Planning Victoria's clinics
- Visit Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
- Visit Pronto