Diagnostic Methods in Sexual Health (SEXH5206)


This unit aims to introduce the student to the common methods used in the diagnosis and management of infections with the common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV. On completion of this unit, students should be able to: (i) Understand the principles of Infection Control; methods used in diagnostic microbiology including specimen collection, storage and transport; specific diagnostic techniques and the interpretation of laboratory results; principle methods of detection for the following organisms/conditions: Chlamydia trachomatis, Candida albicans, Mycoplasmas genitaliums, Herpes simplex viruses, Human papillomaviruses, Molluscum contagiosum virus, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Treponema pallidum, Trichomonas vaginalis, tropical genital ulcerating conditions and genital ectoparasites; and (ii) Discuss methods used and interpretation of hepatitis serology; laboratory aspects of syndromic management of vaginal discharge, urethral discharge, rectal discharge and prostatism; the diagnosis and management of HIV infection; the diagnosis of HIV-related opportunistic infections and tumours, and genital cytological assessment. Course content will include reading materials and exercises. A compulsory intensive, one week face-to-face lab practicum allows students to consolidate their theoretical knowledge.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Online with a compulsory one week laboratory practical session towards the end of the course which will compliment the online learning


Online quizzes (25%); Case based assignments (20%); Discussion board participation (15%); Written exam (40%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

Students who are not enrolled in one of the HIV, STIs and Sexual Health degrees must apply to the unit of study coordinator for permission to enrol in this unit of study.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.