Topics: Health, Youth

Lakes DHB working hard on sexual health education with youth

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Youth as young as 15 are contracting sexually transmitted infections like Chlamydia.  

Figures released by the Institute of Environmental Science show the Lakes District Health Board in the Central North Island has the highest rate of chlamydia of any District Health Board in New Zealand.

Dr Tania Pinfold has dedicated many years of her life educating youth on Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs).  She says, "The statistics show that rates are quite high in our area but I think that mainly reflects the fact that we have a lot of services in the Lakes District working with young people."

Figures by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) show the Lakes District Health Board which encompasses Rotorua, Taupō and surrounding areas has the highest rate of chlamydia cases for youth in New Zealand.  

Dr Pinfold says, "I can tell you that we see 850 young people per month at this service.  So that means we are seeing many young people for all kinds of issues and at the same time we work very hard to screen for STIs."

Dr Tania Pinfold specialises in adolescent health and believes that everyone needs to take an active role when it comes to sexual well-being.  

She says, "We should be really mindful that STIs can reduce people's fertility so chlamydia and gonorrhoea can definitely do harm and if people are hoping that they will have babies in the future, they really need to be looking after their sexual health."

There were 1128 confirmed youth cases of chlamydia in the Lakes District Health Board region followed by the Tairāwhiti region which had the second highest rate of 538 confirmed cases in 2014.

Share this: