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New Campaign Has Important Message

Monday 22 November 2004

New Campaign Has Important Message For Tairawhiti Youth

Chris Hannah of the Community Clinic - Tairawhiti District Health says the Ministry of Health’s new sexual health campaign No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba has a pertinent message for Tairawhiti’s young people. The commercial is part of the Ministry of Health’s campaign to reduce high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in teenagers. It was launched in Parliament by the Minister of Health, Hon Annette King on 22 November.

Tairawhiti’s young people would be wise to heed the campaign’s ‘wear a condom’ message”, says Ms Hannah.

“Reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhoea have increased by around 65 percent over the past five years. In 2003, there were 4485 cases of chlamydia and 673 cases of gonorrhoea diagnosed at sexual health clinics. ”

“This campaign features a commercial that encourages sexually active 15 to 19 year olds to use a condom – and does so in a positive and non-judgemental way. It was developed in close consultation with young people.”

Ms Hannah says that, used correctly, condoms prevented the transmission of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV and reduced the risk of contracting herpes and wart virus infection.
The No Rubba, no Hubba Hubba commercial is set at a hip hop party, and uses a mixture of animation and ‘real people’. The campaign runs from 22 November to the end of February 2005, and uses a variety of media, including television, cinema, radio, outdoor advertising, magazines, print resources and a website.

For further information about youth sexual health contact: Community Clinic 141 Bright St Gisborne 868 9005

Information from Sexually Transmitted Infections in New Zealand: Annual Surveillance Report 2003

The 2003 annual report summaries STI data collected from 25 sexual health clinics (SHCs), 42 family planning clinics (FPCs) and 15 student and youth health clinics (SYHCs) across New Zealand. Data is supplemented by laboratory surveillance of chlamydia and gonorrhoea by 10 laboratories in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland regions. This represents two thirds of the microbiology laboratories in these areas.

General

Over the past five years the number of confirmed chlamydia and gonorrhoea cases diagnosed at SHCs has increased by 65.5 percent and 57 percent respectively. Young people remain at high risk of STIs; 65 percent of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital herpes and genital warts diagnosed at SHCs are in those less than 25 years. In the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, chlamydia rates in 2003 were six times higher than reported in Australia and four times higher than the UK (excluding Scotland). Gonorrhoea rates were double that reported in Australia and the UK (excluding Scotland).

Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis infections are now the most commonly diagnosed STI in New Zealand. 3857 confirmed cases and 628 probable cases of chlamydia were reported at sexual health clinics in 2003. 1728 confirmed cases and 494 probable cases of chlamydia were reported at Family Planning Clinics in 2003. 312 confirmed cases and 9 probable cases of chlamydia were reported at student and youth health centres in 2003.

Chlamydia does not have any symptoms in approximately 70 percent of female and 50 percent of male cases. Untreated infection can lead to the development of serious sequelae, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility in females; and urethritis, epididymitis and infertility in males.

Infants born vaginally to infected mothers can be infected during delivery resulting in neonatal conjunctivitis or pneumonia. Between 2002 and 2003, the number of confirmed chlamydia cases increased by 13.4 percent in SHCs (3857 compared to 3401), 25.9 percent in FPCs (1728 compared to 1373), and decreased by 20 percent in SYHCs (312 compared to 390). In FPCs, the chlamydia rates were highest in females aged 15 to 19 years and in males aged 20 to 24 years. In SHCs and SYHCs rates were highest in females less than 15 years and in males aged 15 to 19 years. In SHCs the rate of chlamydia in Mâori was nearly three times higher than in those of European ethnicity.

In FPCs chlamydia rates in male Mâori and Pacific peoples were three times higher than in males of European ethnicity. Over the past five years, the total number of chlamydia cases (confirmed and probable) has increased by 53.8 percent in SHCs and 27.4 percent in SYHCs. From 2000 to 2003, when the number of participating FPCs has remained stable, the number of confirmed chlamydia cases has increased by 226 percent.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea does not have any symptoms in up to 50 percent of females and 10 percent of males. Untreated gonnococcal infection may be associated with long term serious sequelae, including pelvic inflammatory disease in females and epididymitis in males.

The highest rates of gonorrhoea were reported in males. In FPCs over 55 percent of case of gonorrhoea (confirmed and probable) diagnosed at SHCs and over 80 percent of cases diagnosed at FPCs and SYHCs were in those aged less than 25 years. Rates of gonorrhoea were highest in females aged 15 to 19 years attending FPCs and SHCs, and in males aged 15 to 19 years in SHCs and those aged 20 to 25 years in FPCs. High rates of gonorrhoea were found in males and females of Maori or Pacific peoples ethnicity, compared to European.

For example, in the SHCs, the rate of gonorrhoea in Pacific peoples was nine times higher than those of European origin. From 2000 to 2003, when the number of participating FPCs has remained stable, the number of confirmed gonorrhoea cases diagnosed at FPCs has increased by 119 percent.

HIV

In 2003, 188 new cases of HIV infection were notified. The trend of increasing incident of HIV in men who have sex with men continued with 93 cases. This was the largest number since 1991. Fourty-six of these were reported to have been infected in New Zealand, six in Australia and 19 elsewhere. There has been a steady rise over the last 15 years in the number of people reported as being infected through heterosexual contact.

In 2003, out of 60 heterosexually acquired cases, 31 were male and 29 female. Over the last five years out of a total of 197 cases of heterosexually acquired HIV 161 (82 percent) acquired their infection overseas. From 1999 to 2003, 13 children were diagnosed with perinatally acquired HIV.

Note: The report summarises the epidemiology of STIs, using data from SHCs, FPCs, SYHCs and diagnostic laboratories in New Zealand. The figures presented may underestimate true infection rates because not all clinics and laboratories participate and STIs diagnosed by a range of other health care providers, such as GPs, are not included in this report. It is also important to note the denominator used in calculating disease rates. Rates based on clinic data use the total number of clinic visits, whether for STIs or other conditions, as the denominator. Rates based on laboratory data use the total ‘usually resident’ population, in the District Health Boards covered by laboratory surveillance, from the 2001 New Zealand Census.

HIV/AIDS surveillance is carried out in New Zealand by the AIDS Epidemiology Group. A more detailed account of AIDS/HIV in New Zealand is available in the publication; AIDS – New Zealand. Issue 54. August 2004.

ENDS

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