Promoting positive and responsible sexual and reproductive health

Sexual Health logo.

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health promotes healthy relationships, positive sexual and reproductive health, and responsible sexual behaviour.

Our aim to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. We also aim to reduce levels of sexual violence in our communities and levels of stigma towards sexual minorities.

Staff at Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health provide the following services:

  • Sexual and reproductive health information to the public.
  • Distribution of condoms and lubricants.
  • A programme of seminars to update and inform those working in the area of sexual health especially with youth.
  • Support the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community.
  • Contact tracing for Sexually Transmitted Infections.


Here are some ideas on positive sexual health behaviours:

  • Healthy relationships are the key to good sexual health – respect yourself and your partner.
  • Delay your first sexual experience until you are sure you are ready.
  • Use condoms and lube every time. Lube makes condoms less likely to break and increases pleasure.
  • Reach out for help if you are being pressured to have sex – your body, your decision.
  • Limit numbers of sexual partners.
  • Use reliable contraception unless you want a baby now.
  • Protect your whakapapa/ family tree. Untreated STIs can cause infertility.
  • Have regular sexual health check ups as some STIs have no symptoms.
  • Drinking alcohol can affect the decisions you make, including around sex.

Dealing with sexual health issues and infections in New Zealand

New Zealand has high rates of STIs and unintended pregnancies compared to other countries. Chlamydia rates are especially high among young people aged 15 to 24 years and gonorrhoea rates are also high in some areas.

Syphilis rates are steadily increasing. The highest rates are still among men who have sex with men (MSM) but rates are also increasing among heterosexual men and women. Of particular concern are the cases of congenital syphilis (mother to baby) now being seen.

However there has been a significant drop in genital warts cases since the introduction of the HPV vaccine – now available free for boys as well as girls. Abortion rates among teenage girls have also dropped dramatically and this is likely due to increased education and the emphasis placed on the use of contraception.

Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is available to now available in Christchurch to people who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV. Contact the Christchurch Sexual Health Centre for further information.

Big push to get gay and bisexual men to test for HIV

Know your status: Order a free and discreet HIV self-test.Burnett Foundation Aotearoa media release: 3rd April 2024

HIV testing by men who have sex with men (MSM) has dropped to 40 percent. We know that almost all transmissions occur from people who don’t know they have acquired HIV.

So testing is vital for MSM to stop HIV transmission by 2030 and to help us become the first country in the world to do it.

Burnett Foundation Aotearoa (formerly NZ AIDS Foundation) have launched a big push to get testing numbers up. Don’t Ride Distracted, is the message from the foundation.

You can have a HIV self-test! It is a mouth swab (so no blood) that you can take at home for increased privacy – or literally anywhere you like. Helpfully results are usually available within 20 minutes.

We know that when people are testing regularly, they enjoy much better sex. They aren’t distracted.

“Not knowing your status can make having sex an anxiety-inducing experience and take you out of the moment. We hope this message raises awareness for how easy it is to order a free HIV self-test kit,” says Burnett Foundation Chief Executive Joe Rich.


Documents

Downloads

Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.

Links

Contact your local office for further information:

CANTERBURY, MID CANTERBURY AND CHATHAM ISLANDS
Ph: +64 3 364 1777

SOUTH CANTERBURY
Ph: +64 3 687 2600

WEST COAST
Ph: +64 3 768 1160


Rainbow heart.


Sexual Health Services in Your Area


Information on changes to access to abortion and pregnancy services

DECIDE is the new national abortion telehealth service. It connects people anywhere in the country to information and advice on pregnancy options and abortion.

“The free nationwide 24/7 abortion telehealth service DECIDE will connect callers to a health practitioner over the phone who can help guide someone through the process of an early medical abortion,” says Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall.

“After consulting with the practitioner if a person wishes to proceed they can then choose whether to have medicines couriered to them or to pick them up from a supporting pharmacy.”

You can call freephone 0800 DECIDE (0800 332 433) to speak to a trained health professional. They can give you information about your options or help you arrange in-person care.

Most abortion services and related counselling services are free in New Zealand to any pregnant person eligible for publicly funded health services. This includes NZ citizens, permanent residents or those on appropriate visas.

Considering abortion? Decide.org.nz


Support services for sexual health issues

Family Planning Line
0800 46 36 54

Cervical Screening Programme
0800 729 729

Healthline (to speak to a nurse anytime)
0800 611 116

Youthline
0800 37 66 33

AIDS Hotline
0800 802 437

OUTline (for rainbow community)
0800 688 5463

Safe to talk (Sexual harm support line)
0800 044 334 or text 4334

Christchurch Sexual Health Centre
03 364 0485 or 027 212 7335

Rodger Wright Centre
03 365 2293

NZ Prostitutes Collective
03 365 2595


Turning up the heat on sex

Some innovative projects are blowing the lid off secrets and whispers around sexual health.

Equitable access to information about sexual and reproductive health is critical but the topic can be shrouded in complex issues of culture, discomfort and controversy.

Viewer discretion is advised – must be 18+!

Ai, Let’s talk about sex is a digital video series for rangatahi. It features young, bilingual, Māori panellists discussing a wide range of topics to do with sexual and reproductive health.

Tapu Vā is a place where Pasifika peoples are encouraged to join the talanoa about Pacific attitudes to sex, its tapu nature, their own experiences and their aspirations for their communities’ sexual health. There are also videos of young Pasifika people talking about their aspirations for Pacific sexual health.

The REAL Sex Talk videos educate Kiwi teenagers about sex in an approachable and informative manner. The videos features a variety of New Zealand celebrities openly share their own personal sexual experiences as well as practical advice from local medical experts. This web series is available online from:


Page last updated: 18/04/2024

Copyright © 2024, Community & Public Health,