$7.3 million for new sexual health initiativesHealth Budget 2011
Budget 2011 delivers $7.3 million of reprioritised funding over four years to drive more effective, more efficient services for sexual and reproductive health.
“This will deliver improved sexual and reproductive health for New Zealanders,” says Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia.
“New Zealand has high rates of sexually transmitted infections amongst high priority groups including rangatahi. The incidence of chlamydia in Maori youth is double that of non-Maori youth. We need to step up our efforts in order to improve sexual health outcomes by increasing the support and information available".
Mrs Turia announced the increased investment in services for sexual and reproductive health at the opening of the Whanau Wellness Centre in the Hawkes Bay.
The areas of focus will be on:
• Refocusing resources towards highest risk groups - in particular rangatahi or young Maori and Pasifika people.
• Evaluating school-based sexuality education - international evidence highlights the need to take into account the diverse needs and experiences of young people
• Evaluating condom promotion initiatives - and expanding health promotion initiatives aimed at reducing the stigma faced by people living with HIV and AIDS. This addresses the reduction in condom use in some populations and steadily increasing HIV rates, particularly amongst men who have sex with men.
• Completion of the Chlamydia project and supporting African communities research project.
“The new streams of initiatives will draw on funding reprioritised from previous sexual health programmes. They represent a closer alignment between recent trends and targeted interventions which will best achieve improved sexual and reproductive health outcomes,” says Mrs Turia.