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New Zealanders slow to grasp safer sex - FPA

New Zealanders slow to grasp safer sex - FPA

A worrying number of New Zealanders have admitted in the 2002 Durex Global Sex Survey that they did not use a condom when they had sex with a new partner in the previous year.

Thirty nine percent of those surveyed said they had not used a condom with a new or different partner and this has to be a real concern, Family Planning Association (FPA) Acting Executive Director, Jackie Edmond said.

“Even though there are a few countries like Spain and Sweden that recorded higher percentages than us, the rate is still far too high and it’s little wonder we are continuing to see increasing rates of chlamydia and gonorrhoea in New Zealand.”

Ms Edmond said the survey also highlighted that it was the 21 to 30 year age group that tended to be more reluctant to use a condom with a new partner. 43 percent of 21 to 24 year olds had not used a condom when they had sex with a new or different partner in the last 12 months and the figure was 41 percent for 25 to 30 year olds.

“This level of complacency is disappointing with this age group, but I suppose it’s understandable since they went through school without comprehensive, mandatory sexuality and relationship education – such as was put in place this year.

“However, complacency is no protection if they come into contact with HIV/AIDS for instance – and this is an issue for women as well as men. ”

Ms Edmond said the survey results indicated it was time for an effective media campaign to highlight safer sex messages and she hoped the Government will make this part of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy.

It was good to see New Zealanders rated well for their honesty with a long-term lover about their sexual history which suggested people beginning to talk more about personal issues like having had an Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), the number of sexual partners and whether or not they had been unfaithful, she said.

“This communication is positive and it needs to be backed up with safer sex practices. Using a condom is key to this.”

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