Sexual and reproductive health

Information and resources on sexual and reproductive health.

What’s being done to improve sexual and reproductive health

The Government funds a broad range of sexual and reproductive health services, programmes and initiatives. Services are delivered through general practice, hospitals, and other community-based service providers such as New Zealand Family Planning, laboratories, specialist fertility services, and health promotion providers. Schools and other government agencies also undertake work in this area.

Sexual and reproductive health covers a broad range of topics and issues. Some of the key services, and work being progressed, are outlined below.

Sexually transmitted infections and HIV

  • Prevention, treatment and surveillance of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – see the surveillance reports below.
  • Implementation of the National Syphilis Action Plan (2019).
  • Chlamydia testing coverage for 15–24 year olds forms part of the youth system level measures. 
  • HIV testing, including community-based testing.
  • Improvements in HIV treatment including anti retroviral medications being made available immediately upon diagnosis with HIV in accordance with WHO guidelines.
  • Truvada (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV (2018).

Reproductive health and abortion

  • Services to manage fertility, including pregnancy and abortion.
  • A wide range of safe, effective, acceptable funded contraception.
  • Affordable sexual and reproductive health services for young and low-income people including youth one stop shops, school-based health services and family planning services. 
  • New long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) options.
  • Free procedures to insert and remove LARCs are available for women on the very lowest incomes.
  • New low-cost services to improve equitable access to contraception.

Sexuality education

  • Health promotion and sexuality education services in school and community settings.

Sexual violence prevention

  • A national Violence Intervention Programme (VIP) supports protocols and training for health practitioners to provide support and referrals for victims of family violence, sexual violence and child abuse.
  • Information, resources and support for sex workers who have experienced sexual violence.
  • Prevention of female genital mutilation (FGM) in collaboration with communities affected by the practice.

Gender-affirming care

  • Budget 2019 earmarked an additional $2.992 million over the next four years to increase access to gender-affirming genital surgeries.

Cross-agency collaborative work

  • Sexuality education in schools, led by the Ministry of Education.
  • Cross-government work on harms associated with online pornography.
  • Stats NZ is conducting a review of its statistical standard for gender identity.
  • A cross-government joint venture leading the Government's work on family violence and sexual violence, including the development of a National Strategy and Action Plan.
  • The Sexual Abuse and Assessment Treatment Service (SAATS) provides health care and forensic examinations for any person who has experienced sexual assault or abuse.

New actions

  • Development of national contraception guidelines and workforce development (2020).
  • Scoping the development of a joint STI and blood borne infections strategy to align with the WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on Sexually Transmitted Infection (2020).
  • A social marketing campaign to raise awareness of STIs, testing and treatment (2020).

Publications on other sites

STI management guidelines

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common in New Zealand. Associated complications include chronic pain, infertility, neonatal morbidity and genital tract cancer. Surveillance data regularly indicates that those aged less than 25 years and non-Europeans show a disproportionate burden of STIs, the highest numbers and rates for each STI are almost always seen in the 15 to 19 years and 20 to 24 years age groups. Primary care practitioners diagnose and treat the majority of STI cases in New Zealand.

Best practice guidelines on the management of STIs are an essential component of effective management of STIs in order to:

  • prevent onward transmission
  • assist with partner notification
  • reduce potential health complications
  • reduce risk of potential complications associated with development of antibiotic resistance.

View STI management guidelines on the New Zealand Sexual Health Society website.

STI Surveillance Reports

View the latest STI Surveillance Reports from ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research)

HealthEd resources

HealthEd is a searchable catalogue of resources about key public health topics. The Ministry makes these available to the public, including health professionals, to promote a better understanding of public health and preventative measures that contribute to maintaining public health and wellbeing.

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