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STIs and HIV

Family Planning supports sexuality education, safer sex practices, and regular, non-judgemental testing and treatment to help prevent sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Family Planning believes that sexuality is a part of human life and people have a right to safely explore and enjoy their sexuality.

When people are in contact with each other, there is sometimes a risk of spreading illness or infection. Certain infections can be spread through sexual contact.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common in New Zealand. STIs are not spread evenly across all groups, with young people, Māori and men who have sex with men more likely to get an STI. HIV infection can happen to anyone but in New Zealand, is much more likely among men who have sex with men. While some STIs have symptoms, others do not. Some STIs can cause long term health problems if left untreated.

Condoms are a cost-effective method of promoting good sexual health. When used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective at preventing transmission of many – but not all - STIs, including HIV. Dental dams are another option for preventing STI transmission during anal and oral sex.

Regular STI testing and treatment is an important part of preventing the spread of STIs. Many STIs are easily cured. HIV can be managed but requires life-long treatment.

Family Planning supports high quality sexuality education for all people, particularly young people, so they have the knowledge, skills and awareness of their own values to have safer sexual experiences. Promoting health literacy, healthy relationships, preventing violence, abuse and improving gender equality promotes safer, consensual sex.

Family Planning advocates for affordable, easily accessible and non-judgemental access to services and supplies to prevent the spread of STIs and HIVs. People should feel comfortable and confident getting condoms, and STI and HIV testing should be part of regular health checks for sexually active people. There should be no shame associated with STIs and HIV.

Family Planning is committed to health equity. We provide free services to under 22 year olds and are exploring innovative ways to increase regular STI and HIV testing and treatment, especially among high risk groups.

MORE INFORMATION

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.