Sexual health

Community and Public Health's Sexual Health Logo.Community and Public Health promotes positive sexual and reproductive health and responsible sexual behaviour.

Our aim is to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS, and unintended pregnancies. We also promote positive attitudes to sexuality and relationships.

New Zealand has high rates of STIs and unintended pregnancies compared to other countries. Chlamydia rates are especially high, and gonorrhoea has also re-emerged in the past few years. Both of these rates are a concern for young people aged 15 to 24 years, and syphilis cases have also increased in older age groups. HIV rates are still a concern, since there is a close relationship between the spread of HIV and other STIs.

Our key messages are:

  • Delay your first sex experience
  • Use condoms and lubricants every time – lube makes condoms less likely to break and increase pleasure
  • Limit number 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 – some STIs have no symptoms
  • Drinking alcohol can affect the decisions you make, including around sex

Staff at Community and Public Health provide the following services:

  • Sexual and reproductive health information to the public.
  • Distribution of condoms and lubricants.
  • Educational sessions for high needs groups in the community. Limited sessions available.
  • Dr G online service for young people answering questions on sexuality and relationships.
  • Seminars to update and inform those working in the area of sexual health especially with youth. Contact Dianne Shannon at the Christchurch office for more information (+64 3 378 6755).
  • Support the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community through the Pink Health Otautahi project.
  • Contact tracing for Sexually Transmitted Infections.
  • Handle requests for information and complaints around the Prostitution Reform Act.
  • Produce a sexual health newsletter twice a year.


Rise in syphilis cases prompts calls to practise safe sex

Ministry of Health media release: 13th April 2018

A rise in the number of syphilis cases being reported in New Zealand is prompting renewed calls for people to practise safe sex, including the use of condoms.

The incidence of syphilis has been on the rise in New Zealand since 2012. The latest data indicates that the number of syphilis cases reported in 2017 has more than doubled since 2015 – with 470 cases reported.

Most of the cases were reported in males and females aged 20 to 39 years, with nearly 70% of the cases reported in men who have sex with men.

Support available for GLBTQ Youth

GLBTQ Gay and Lesbian Youth Support (GAL0002).A number of agencies and organisations are available to support gay, lesbian, queer and transgender youth.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


Contact your local CPH office for further information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169

Useful Phone Numbers

Family Planning Line
0800 46 36 54

Cervical Screening Programme
0800 729 729

Healthline (For a nurse 24 hours)
0800 611 116

0800 37 66 33

AIDS Hotline
0800 802 437

OUTline (for rainbow community)
0800 688 5463

Safe to talk (Sexual harm support line – Canterbury only)
0800 044 334 or text 4334New.

Christchurch Sexual Health Centre
03 364 0485 or 027 212 7335

Rodger Wright Centre
03 365 2293

NZ Prostitutes Collective
03 365 2595

Stop Sexual Violence poster.

Page last updated: 16/04/2018

Copyright © 2018, Community & Public Health,