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Latest STI figures show importance of getting tested

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The recent release of figures around sexually transmitted infections (STIs) shows the importance of getting tested if you suspect you may have an STI.

​The latest figures from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research show that MidCentral DHB had a slightly higher rate of chlamydia cases than the national average, and MDHB’s Medical Head of Sexual Health, Dr Anne Robertson is determined to help bring that rate down.

She said: “The rise in chlamydia cases in 2014 shows that there is a need for people to make sure they get tested. Preventing the spread of these infections requires that they are identified and treated before they can be passed on to other sexual partners. A particular focus is placed on those who are under 30, as they tend to make up the bulk of the cases.”

While the rate of gonorrhoea cases is below the national average, Dr Robertson is still wary of the dangers of the infection.

She said: “While gonorrhoea rates are lower than those for New Zealand, it is very important to treat infection early, as there are concerns about the development of antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea. The quicker cases are treated, the lower the chance of ongoing transmission of infection. 

“The ESR report emphasises the rise in the number of syphilis cases. Since the report was released there have been cases of syphilis treated in Palmerston North.

“Anyone who has a concern about their sexual health should contact their General Practice team, youth health service or the MidCentral Sexual Health Service. Services are free to youth through youth health services and most general practices, and for all ages through the MidCentral Sexual Health Service. 

“As always, using condoms when you are sexually active is the best way to prevent the spread of infection, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.” Information on STIs is available at ‘Just the Facts’ website,

If you would like to know more about the free sexual health clinics in Palmerston North, Levin and Dannevirke, contact MidCentral Sexual Health Services on 0800 808 602 or 06 350 8602.

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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