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3 Wise Men Promote Safer Sex

3 Wise Men Promote Safer Sex

7 December 2003


Three wise men will carry the safer summer sex message in a new campaign launching this week.

The Family Planning Association (FPA) campaign, which is supported by Ansell, condom and personal lubricants manufacturer, is designed to encourage safer sex this festive season.

FPA Executive Director, Dr Gill Greer says this is the time of year when traditionally there are lots of parties, alcohol and the increased potential for unsafe sex.

“We know this happens as some of our clinics see an increase in the numbers of people presenting for Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) checks and pregnancy tests in the New Year,” says Dr Greer.

“Statistics show that New Zealand has an alarmingly high rate of STIs and we have decided to encourage condom use by showing that people who use condoms are wise.”

The campaign features billboards and busbacks throughout the country showing three young men, each with a packet of Ansell condoms in their back pocket. The tagline is “Three Wise Men.”

Both FPA and Ansell want New Zealanders to take responsibility for their health and say if they are having sex, it needs to be safer sex.

“That means always using a condom to reduce the risk of picking up an STI as well as another form of contraception too, like the oral contraceptive pill to prevent unplanned pregnancies,” says Dr Greer.

“Used properly, condoms can help prevent the spread of these STIs and this campaign is a subtle reminder to wise up about safer sex,” says Matthew Groskorth, Ansell Group Product Manager.

“We’re thrilled to be working proactively alongside the FPA to encourage the youth of New Zealand to adopt safer sexual practises.“

New Zealand STI rates are high compared with other developed countries. Chlamydia statistics are five times higher in New Zealand than in Australia. The ESR STI Annual report for 2002 records 10,307 cases of Chlamydia – a rate of 598 per 100,000 of the population. New Zealand rates of Gonorrhoea are double that of Australia at 54 per 100,000 of the population. New Zealanders under 25 featured highest in these statistics.

The FPA and Ansell safer summer sex campaign will roll out on the backs of buses in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier/Hastings, Whangarei and Invercargill. There will be billboards in Auckland, State Highway 1 at Ruakaka, Hamilton, Waipawa, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The campaign starts on 7 December and will run through to mid January 2004.

Relevant statistics
- Highest rates of Chlamydia in New Zealand are found in females ages 15 to 24 years. This is three times higher than the males for the same age group (source ESR July to Sept 03 STI Surveillance www.esr.cri.nz)
- Chlamydia often has no symptoms. Left untreated it can have devastating consequences like infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
- In the first half of 2003, there were 16 notifications of AIDS (14 males and two females) and 87 people (69 males and 18 females) were found to be infected with HIV in New Zealand. To the end of June 2003 a total of 788 people have been notified with AIDS (731 males and 57 females) and 1974 people have been found to be infected with HIV (1677 males, 279 females, 18 where sex not stated). Source: AIDS Epidemiology Group, Otago University.
- The Innocenti Report Card – A League of Table of Teenage Births in Rich Nations places New Zealand with the third highest numbers of teenage births, after the USA and the United Kingdom). www.unicef-icdc.org

ENDS

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