New STI data
New STI data provides further evidence of inequitable sexual and reproductive health outcomes, Family Planning says.
The highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhoea are among young people, Māori, Pasifika and people living in rural communities. Family Planning says the figures show that more must be done both to improve access to STI testing and treatment and to ensure services are in areas of highest need.
Data from the 2014 ESR annual report shows that Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed STI in New Zealand. The data shows the national chlamydia rate decreasing since 2012 and a decrease for females aged 15-19 years since 2010. However, 83% of cases in 2014 were among 15 to 29 year olds with the highest rates among Māori females aged 15-19. And, rates among Māori females aged 15-19 years are more than twice the national rate.
Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says it is incredibly concerning that STI rates remain high in some communities and reinforces yet again, the need to have a focus on equity.
“Everyone working in sexual health knows that we have much more work to do in both testing and treatment,” Ms Edmond says.
“For example, we are planning to trial drop in and opportunistic STI testing – where people can drop in to a clinic, complete a registration form and quick questionnaire and leave a urine sample for testing. Once the test results are in, our nurses can contact the client with details and arrange for them to have treatment if necessary,” Ms Edmond says. This will be free for under 22 year olds.
“Our focus must be on equity and putting the right services in the right place has to be a priority.”
The ESR report can be found at the link below.