This community-based cross-sectional study was carried out in the tribal population of randomly selected villages of Jabalpur district, Madhya Pradesh, central India. A total of 200 married men and women aged 15–49 years were interviewed to explore their knowledge, experience and health-seeking behaviour related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Though 91% of respondents were aware of STIs, the sexual route was mentioned by only 19% as the route of transmission. Around 18% reported a need for social isolation from persons with STIs. Though 88% of the respondents felt modern medicine was the best remedy for STIs, only a few of them used medical treatment while suffering from an STI. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents resorted to traditional healers, and 30% utilized home remedies for STI treatment. The study highlights a need for generating STI awareness amongst the tribal population of the region through a needs-based behaviour change communication (BCC) strategy.