Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


New Survey Shows The Need To Remove Barriers To Sexually Transmitted Infection (STIs) Prevention For Women And Girls

A new survey from Family Planning shows that in a health system under pressure, we need to remove barriers for people getting STI tests and information and ensure women and girls are not overlooked in STI prevention initiatives.

The survey of over 1,000 people - 84% of whom were women and girls - found that 63% of participants had never had a health practitioner talk to them about getting an STI test, unless they brought it up or had symptoms. This rises to 77% among 16-19-year-olds, and over half of 20-24-year-olds had also never been asked.

"We know that health practitioners in primary care are already under extreme pressure, with staff shortages and high demand for services," said Dr Tania Huria, Director of Hauora Māori and Equity at Family Planning. "Supporting people to self-test is part of the solution because people can manage their own health and get a test quickly, without needing to wait for an appointment."

"The STI self-testing that Family Planning offers is popular with young people, who are at greatest risk of STIs. These sorts of options should be expanded, but we also need to make sure there is adequate follow-up where someone tests positive."

Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says the survey findings confirm that women and girls must be included in initiatives to expand STI testing and treatment options and health promotion.

The survey also found that 47% of participants were asked about STI tests at the time of a cervical screen.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"This was a surprise to us, but it makes sense given the way the old tests were done, that if you were having a screen, you might as well get a swab for STIs while you are there," said Ms Edmond. "With cervical screening changing to every five years, and with a self-testing option, it is important that we don’t lose the opportunity to test for STIs and develop other opportunities for opportunistic testing. Making sure these include options that focus on the specific needs of women and girls is critical."

Over 85% of people responding to the survey felt that STI information should be shared through relationships and sexuality education in school.

The survey also showed that school was a critical place to learn about sexual health, and how to have healthy relationships.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

International Art Centre: Rare Goldie Landscape Expected To Fetch $150,000

When Evening Shadows Fall is one of four works by Goldie included in a sale of Important and Rare Art at the International Art Centre in Parnell on November 28. Goldie painted only a handful of landscapes, concentrating mainly on indigenous portraits, which earned him a global reputation as NZ’s finest painter of respected Māori elders (kaumātua). More

Mark Stocker: History Spurned - The Arrival Of Abel Tasman In New Zealand

On the face of it, Everhardus Koster's exceptional genre painting The Arrival of Abel Tasman in New Zealand should have immense appeal. It cannot find a buyer, however, not because of any aesthetic defects, but because of its subject matter and the fate of the Māori it depicts. More



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.