Sexual Health

Let’s face it: sexual health can be an embarrassing topic. It’s probably not something we think about until we have a problem, and too often the anxiety or shame we experience around our sexual health can stop us getting the help we need.

But don’t be shy! The University offers a free and confidential counselling service where you can discuss any issues or concerns you may have about sex or your sexual health. If you are a student from another country, please know it is acceptable in Australia to talk to a counsellor about this kind of thing, and cultural differences will be respected.

You might be wondering…

STDs and STIs essentially refer to the same thing, and are often used interchangeably. However, they are technically different – STD is short for sexually transmitted diseases, while STI is short for sexually transmitted infections.

STIs are infections that can be passed from person to person through any form of sexual activity (including non-penetrative sexual activity). Examples of STIs include genital warts, genital herpes, syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B, gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

Using a condom properly every time you have sex will help to protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies. The Australian Government’s Healthdirect is a good source of information about safe sex and the proper use of condoms.

STIs are bacterial, viral or parasitic infections passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal and oral sex. They can infect several areas of your body and do not always have any obvious signs or symptoms. Having unprotected sex can put you at risk of contracting an STI. SHine SA is a good source of more information.

Using contraception will help prevent unwanted pregnancy. But it’s important to remember that only some contraceptives will also protect you against STIs; namely condoms. These days there is a wide range of contraceptive methods available for use. These include hormone-based medications administered either orally or otherwise, barrier contraceptives and timing methods. It is important to consult with a doctor or health professional to help you decide which method is best for you, especially since many contraceptives require a prescription. Talking to your GP or pharmacist is a good place to start.

For more information about the types of contraception available, download the SHine SA’s Choices in Contraception (PDF 56kb).

Both you and your partner need to be 17 years or older to legally have sex in South Australia.

Many people explore and come to terms with their sexual identity during their University years. If you think you may be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, transsexual, queer or intersex, and want to talk about it with someone, you can speak with a University counsellor at no cost or contact SHine SA's Sexual Healthline on 1300 883 793, or for country callers 1800 188 171.

For more information about sexuality and gender download SHine SA’s Fact sheet 17 - Sexual health of people of diverse gender and sexuality (PDF 207kb).

Sexual assault, which includes rape, is an unlawful act that covers a range of forced and/or coerced sexual behaviours that are unwanted and have not been consented to.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted contact the Police. You should also contact Yarrow Place. You can also talk to a University counsellor, a doctor or any other health professional.

The laws says that an agreement to any sexual activity must be free and voluntary for it to be consensual (Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935).

Need further assistance?

Contact Campus Central

Your one-stop-shop for student services. UniSA general enquiries: 1300 301 703.