Thursday 14 May 2020Media release3 minutes to read
Canterbury DHB’s sexual health team is urging anyone who’s bursting to break out of their bubble to connect with someone in a more intimate way, to get themselves checked out.
Clinical Director of Canterbury DHB’s sexual health service, Dr Ed Coughlan says the enforced period of lockdown has provided a unique situation where there have been limited opportunities for Sexually Transmitted Infections to spread.
“This is a unique opportunity for people to have their sexual health checked before they break out of their bubbles. To know you’re clear of infection is a great way to head into Alert Level 2,” he said.
Whatever your age you can have a sexual health check at Canterbury DHB’s Sexual Health Service. These check-ups are free for New Zealand citizens and residents and certain visa holders. If you want to check you meet the eligibility criteria you can call the Sexual Health Centre on 03 364 0485.
They even provide free condoms for safer sex. Details on how to make an appointment are available here.
Your General Practice Team or Family Planning Clinic are also good places to get checked. It’s important to remember that not all infections are itchy, sore or have spots, and it’s not just young people who need to get checked. Untreated Sexually Transmitted Infections can cause all sorts of problems for all sorts of people.
Whether you identify as a boomer, a millennial or Gen X, Y or Z, LGBTQI+, it makes no difference to us. What’s important is that you take your sexual health seriously, and care enough to make time for a check before you reignite your love life under Alert Level Two.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says now is the perfect time for people to get a check-up and make sure they don’t start their own chain of ‘community transmission’ as people start to connect after a period of restraint in their own bubble.
“We want to save our contact tracing efforts for COVID-19,” says Dr Pink. “If hooking up with someone is on your mind, do the right thing and get yourself checked to avoid giving them more than you mean to,” Dr Pink said.
Further information about what’s involved in a sexual health check is available on healthinfo
Visits to Family Planning are free if you’ve under 22. All Family Planning clinics now offer do-it-yourself STI tests, so you may not need to see a nurse or doctor. This is for people who don't have any signs of an infection. You will take the test samples yourself in the clinic bathroom and give them to the receptionist. More info can be found here: https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/clinics/services/sti-testing-and-treatment
Phone your General Practice Team and ask for a sexual health check – in some practices this can be carried out by a nurse. If you’re under 18 sexual health consults will be free and low cost consults are available for adults with a Community Services Card in most practices – call your GP first to check.
Page last updated: 14 May 2020
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