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Make It Safe This Christmas – Family Planning

22 December, 2005

Family Planning’s holiday wish is that everyone has a safe time this festive season.

Family Planning Executive Director, Dr Gill Greer, says the summer break brings with it increased social activity – and alcohol is often a feature. This can increase the risk of coercion, violence and casual unprotected sex.

“We want New Zealanders to make sure they have a happy and healthy Christmas break. If they are having sex with a new partner, then they must insist on a condom. We don’t want them to end up with Chlamydia – the “gift” that keeps on giving.

“The only safe sex is no sex, but if this is not an option, then people need to protect themselves and their partners from an unplanned pregnancy and many Sexually Transmitted Infections - and that means always using a condom and using it correctly.”

Dr Greer said New Zealand has high rates of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea and both Syphilis and HIV/AIDS diagnoses are steadily increasing. If people do have unplanned sex, women need to get the Emergency Contraceptive Pill from a doctor, FPA or a pharmacy and both need to have an STI check.

“Sexually active people who are not in a committed relationship where both have been tested and shown not to have STI, need to make a New Year resolution to protect themselves.

“They should resolve to get an STI check and make sure a new partner does too. Until you both have a clear warrant of fitness, always use condoms,” Dr Greer said.

“Many New Zealanders underestimate the risk of STI’s, thinking it won’t happen to them, but this is no protection.

Dr Greer also reminded people in relationships to take their contraceptive pills with them on holiday, if they are not planning a pregnancy.


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