15 Nov 2015

Doctors call for better sexual health services

8:10 pm on 15 November 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is calling for better access to sexual and reproductive care for adolescents and young adults.

The college said a 2012 survey showed nearly a quarter of New Zealand students were having sex, but fewer than half always used condoms.

It wanted the government to listen to their recommendations for better health services that are affordable, available, accurate, and based on evidence.

The organisation's spokeswoman for sexual health Anne Robertson said there was a lack of continuity of information for young people. The college said there was a need for information, education and clinical care that supported healthy sexual development and informed choices.

The recommendations included specific services for people who may face increased discrimination or vulnerability.

Sexual health doctor Sarah Martin said sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancy, sexual violence and abuse and bullying in sexual relationships were significant concerns for young people.

It was important that relationships and safe sex were discussed in relation to both same-sex and heterosexual relationships, she said.

The college's Paediatrics and Child Health president Dr Nicki Murdock said appropriate access to sexual and reproductive care would improve health care outcomes for all young people, including indigenous, gender diverse, same-sex attracted and those who live with disabilities or long-term conditions.

  • Promoting young people's right to confidential and non-judgemental sexual and reproductive health care
  • Ensuring physically and financially feasible access to sexual and reproductive health care, with options for free health care
  • Specific services for young people who may face increased discrimination or vulnerability
  • Including the needs of young people in planning, service delivery and guideline development
  • Sexuality and relationships education curricula are accurate and evidence-based

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