The recent increasing rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea and HIV, has kept MidCentral DHB’s sexual health service busy.
Dr Anne Robertson said: “The last few months have seen a spike in sexually transmitted infection rates in the Manawatu region. Although the overall numbers have been small, the rate of rise in syphilis and gonorrhoea rates is of concern. Chlamydia rates have also increased locally, and nationally there has been an increase in the rate of HIV infections.
“People who are sexually active should get tested and treated if necessary. You can be infected without experiencing any symptoms and early diagnosis and treatment is vital to prevent ongoing transmission. STI’s can also have short and long term consequences for your health.
“Testing is free and non- invasive. If you do not have symptoms you can self-collect swabs and urine for testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. A blood test is necessary to diagnose HIV and syphilis. It is also important to let your health provider know about your sexual activity so that the right tests can be done.”
Testing is free through the sexual health service, Youth One Stop Shop or your GP. Pregnant women can arrange a test through their midwife.
The sexual health service has walk-in clinics on Monday and Friday mornings 0900-1200 (phone 0800 808 602 or 06 3508602, or see the website for more information.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945