The aims of the present study were to explore aspects of sexually transmissible infections (STI) prevention in general practice and to examine general practitioners' (GPs) perceived barriers to sexual-health promotion. The data from a postal survey of 409 GPs practising in New South Wales, Australia (response rate 45.4%) are analysed to explore the prevention of STI in general practice and to examine practitioners' perceived barriers to sexual-health promotion. About 49% of GPs reported having STI leaflets/pamphlets for patients in their clinic, while 21% had posters on STI displayed in their waiting room. Two-third (67%) of GPs provided STI-specific printed materials/leaflets to patients with STI. Female GPs were more likely to be proactive in STI prevention. Time and funding appear to be the major barriers to sexual-health promotion, followed by inadequate access to counselling. One-fifth (22%) of GPs felt that they had little influence in changing patients' risk behaviour, while about 28% emphasized the need for further preventive care training. The present study identifies inconsistencies in STI-prevention activities in general practice along with barriers to undertake sexual-health promotion. This area warrants further attention if GPs are to contribute fully to the control of STI.