About gonorrhoea

  • The STI gonorrhoea is caused by the gram-negative bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

  • There were over 30,000 gonorrhoea infections diagnosed in Australia in 20191

Diagnosis and treatment

  • Most gonorrhoea cases are asymptomatic, ranging from 80% in vaginal infections to 85-90% in penile urethral infections.2  Gonorrhoea can also be transmitted via oral and anal sex. The oral infection may cause a sore throat but is often asymptomatic.3 

  • Nucleic acid amplification testing is used to diagnose gonorrhoea. See the Australian STI Management Guidelines for help with diagnosis and treatment. 

  • Antimicrobial resistant gonorrhoea is increasing in Australia. Collection of samples for gonococcal culture before treatment is vital to determine antimicrobial sensitivity and to contribute to antimicrobial resistance surveillance. Treatment should not be delayed while waiting for results.2

  • Gonorrhoea is a notifiable condition and the state or territory health department must be notified of a positive case.

Notification in your state/territory

Gonorrhoea is a notifiable disease in all Australian states/territories. The diagnosing clinician and/or the pathology labratory is responsible for notification, depending on the jurisdiction. Click on your state below for further information about notification in your jurisdiction.  Please note that information regarding notification is correct as of July 2022. Please check with your relevant Health Department for further updates. 

Follow-up and management

  • Consider testing for other STIs, if this did not occur at the initial presentation (click here for more information)

  • Advise no sexual contact for 7 days after treatment, and no sex with partners from the previous 2 months until they have been tested and treated as appropriate.2

  • Contact tracing is extremely important for gonorrhoea infections and it is the diagnosing clinicians responsibility to initiate and document a discussion with the index case about contact tracing. 

  • A test of cure should be performed 2 weeks after treatment. A test for reinfection should be undertaken 3 months after treatment.2 

For detailed information about gonorrhoea, including treatment and management, see
Australian STI Management Guidelies: Gonorrhoea

MoCCA is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1150014) and is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and our project investigators and partner organisations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Click here for a list of our collaborators.

The information on this website was last updated in June 2024. 

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which this research is being conducted.