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Sexual health information, resources and FAQs

Important updates


Monkeypox (Mpox) is a viral disease that can be passed from person to person, most often through close physical or sexual contact.

Find out more.


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that is spread by any sexual contact, including oral sex. Its symptoms are often invisible, so people don’t even know they have it until they have a blood test.

Find out more.


Doxy-PEP is a new tool that is effective in preventing syphilis and chlamydia for men, transgender women and non-binary people assigned male sex at birth who have sex with other men.

Find out more.


PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Prophylaxis means to prevent – PrEP is used by people who are HIV-negative to reduce their risk of getting HIV.

Find out more

Is HIV PrEP right for me?

PrEP is a tablet to reduce your risk of getting HIV. 

Find out if PrEP is right for you.

Sexual health tests

Do I need a sexual health test?

If you are sexually active, it's a good idea to have a test. Find out what options are available to you and how soon you should get a test.

STI Testing FAQs

STI Testing FAQs 


Our service is confidential. Your personal details will not be given to anybody without your consent.


When you attend for your visit you will need to complete a registration form including your name and contact details. It is important that these details are correct to enable us to contact you if we should need to. Please inform us of the preferred way for us to contact you, for example by phone, text, mail or email. Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time to complete this form.

What do I need to know before I arrive? What could impact on my test results?

You will be asked to provide your name and date of birth as they appear on your birth certificate or passport and your full contact details

If you have a penis, please do not pass urine for 2 hours prior to your appointment if you wish to be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as this may affect our ability to detect an infection. 

If you don't have any symptoms and you want a sexual health check, we suggest an appointment two weeks after your last unprotected sex. This is because infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea may take up to two weeks to show up on tests (and for some infections like syphilis and HIV it may take longer).

If you are not sure when is the best time to get checked or if you develop symptoms, please call 0800 739 432 and speak with a nurse who will advise you.

What will I be tested for?

Each client is individually assessed and recommended tests will be discussed.

A standard STI test includes a urine sample and/ or swabs for chlamydia and gonorrhoea, and a blood test for HIV and syphilis.

Additional tests may be recommended following the assessment. 

Genital skin examination

As part of your check-up, the doctor or nurse will offer to examine the genital skin looking for lumps, bumps, sores or rashes which may be signs of infections such as genital warts, genital herpes or syphilis.

An examination is recommended especially if you have symptoms.

Nurses and doctors at the clinic are experts at genital examinations and at making the experience as comfortable as possible for you. But if you are too embarrassed or shy to have an examination you can provide self-taken samples for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing.

If you have a vagina

Routinely, swabs are taken from the vagina to detect infection. Sometimes it may be recommended to take swabs from your throat or anus depending on your history and symptoms.

Using our microscopes, we are sometimes able to see thrush, bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas and gonorrhoea on the day of attendance.

We also send samples away to the laboratory for further testing.

If you have a penis

A urine sample is taken for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing. If you have pain passing urine or discharge from your penis a small swab may be taken from the tip of the urethra (opening at the tip of the penis).

This sample will be looked at under the microscope on the day so we can decide whether you need treatment before your other test results come back.

If you have sex with other men, it is usually recommended to have swabs taken from your throat and anus for testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Infections like chlamydia and gonorrhoea usually don't have symptoms and are easily passed on though oral and anal sex or from rimming, fingering and sharing of sex toys.

Blood tests

We offer routine screening for HIV and Syphilis. Hepatitis A, B and C screening is offered when appropriate.

What about my test results?

Some results may be available on the day you attend. Results from samples sent to the laboratory can take up to 10 days to return.

If any of your results come back as positive (meaning you have an infection) we will contact you as soon as possible. This is why it is important for us to have your correct details.

In some situations, you may need to re-attend for your results or for treatment. This will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation.

If you have a sexual health check at your family doctor, the standard tests you should be offered are:

  • A blood test for HIV and syphilis
  • A urine test for gonorrhoea, chlamydia (if you have a penis)
  • A vaginal swab for gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomaniasis (if you have a vagina)
  • A rectal swab and oral swab for gonorrhoea, chlamydia (if you are a man who has sex with men).

Fact Sheets

These fact sheets are designed to provide you with information on disease. They are not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of publishing.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria (bugs) that are normally only present in the vagina in small numbers. When these bacteria are present in large numbers they may cause symptoms such as an abnormal discharge or odour. 
Bacterial vaginosis is sometimes called non specific vaginitis or Gardnerella vaginitis. Read more about Bacterial Vaginosis.


This condition, often known as thrush, is caused by an overgrowth of, or an allergic reaction to a yeast called Candida albicans. This yeast is usually found in many areas of the body and is not considered to be a sexually transmissible infection. Candidiasis is very common. A range of factors may possibly trigger an attack of candidiais although often there is no obvious cause. Read more about Candidiasis.


Chlamydia trachomatis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. In males it infects the urethra (tube inside the penis) and in women it infects the urethra and cervix (neck of the womb). It can also infect the rectum and sometimes the eyes and throat. Read more about Chlamydia. 

Emergency contraception

If you have sexual intercourse and you do not use contraception, you may become pregnant. You may also need emergency contraception if you have missed pills or a condom breaks.

Emergency contraception is available from (cost vary, please contact services directly)

Family Planning 0800372546   

Contraception Clinic in ADHB:   0800 527 200 (0800 LARC00)


General Practitioners / Primary Health Care

Youth Services

Community accident and emergency

Sexual Health Clinics

Auckland Sexual Health  - 0800739432


Genital skin

Almost all conditions affecting genital skin will benefit by simple changes to routine skin washing:

  • Avoid soap (use soap substitutes).
  • Keep to short, warm, not hot showers, and bathing. (too hot will increase itch, too long causes more dryness).
  • Plain or salt water (1/4 teaspoon/1 cup or 1-2 teaspoons/litre of warm water). This is especially good if various creams and lotions have irritated the skin.

Read more about genital skin.


Neisseria Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. In males it infects the urethra (tube inside the penis) and in women it infects the urethra and cervix (neck of the womb). It can also infect the rectum and sometimes the eyes and throat. Read more about Gonorrhoea.


Hepatitis is the name given to different illnesses which cause inflammation of the liver.

Hepatitis can result from viral infections including Hepatitis A, B and C which can sometimes be sexually transmitted. Information about hepatitis can be found at The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

Information about HIV can be found at the NZ Aids Foundation website

HPV (Genital warts)

Information about Human Papilloma Virus can be found at the NZ HPV Project website

HSV (Herpes)

Information about Herpes Simplex Virus can be found at the NZ Herpes Foundation website


Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a pox virus. It appears as small firm flesh-coloured bumps with waxy white centres. These can appear anywhere on the body but are common on the genital area, thighs or lower abdomen. Because of their appearance they can be confused with genital warts or pimples. Read more about Molluscum.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID is the term given to infection of the female reproductive system (the tubes, uterus or womb and ovaries). It is a common and potentially serious complication of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Occasionally PID can occur after certain gynaecological operations. Read more about Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

Pubic lice

Pubic lice are tiny parasites, which can cause itching in the genital area. The lice use their claws to grab and hang on to pubic hairs while feeding on blood. Read more about Pubic lice.


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium (bug) called Treponema pallidum. It enters the body through tiny breaks in the skin- mainly in the genital area or the mouth. Read more about Syphilis.


Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a very small parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis, called "Trich" for short (sounds like trike). World-wide, it is one of the commonest sexually transmitted infections (STI?s) but it is uncommon in New Zealand. The infection is most commonly diagnosed in sexually active females between 16-35 years. It is caught during sexual contact with an infected person. It can be passed by using sex toys, e.g. vibrators. Read more about Trichomoniasis.


Urethritis affects mainly men and means inflammation of the urethra (the urine and semen passage).The urethra can be affected by various sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The most common causes are infection with gonorrhoea and Chlamydia however other bacteria or viruses may be involved. If tests for gonorrhoea and Chlamydia are negative then the urethritis is usually called non-specific (or NSU for short). Read more about Urethritis. 


Yaws is a skin infection caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum pertenue. Treponema pertenue is not found in New Zealand. Until 1961 it was common in the Pacific islands. Between 1959-1961 people from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Tokelau Islands were given injections of penicillin as part of a special World Health Organisation (WHO) campaign to stop the disease. Yaws has not come back in these islands but people who were born before the WHO campaign may still have signs of past infection in their blood and this can be picked up on a blood test. Today Yaws is still seen occasionally in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. 

Read more about Yaws.

Resources and links

Burnett Foundation Aotearoa

The Burnett Foundation Aotearoa is a registered charitable trust which works to prevent the transmission of HIV (with particular regard to gay and bisexual men and other high-risk groups), and supporting all New Zealanders living with or affected by HIV, irrespective of age, race, gender or sexual orientation.

Visit the BFA website

NZ Herpes Foundation

The New Zealand Herpes Foundation was founded in 1994 by a group of patients and health professionals in response to the need to provide support and education to people diagnosed with genital herpes. We aim to:

  • provide support, compassion and education for people with herpes.
  • increase public awareness and thereby reduce ignorance and prejudice
  • improve the medical management of people with herpes simplex

Visit the NZ Herpes Foundation website

NZ HPV Project

The NZ HPV Project aims to:

  • To provide support and education for people with human papillomarvirus (genital warts and/or HPV).
  • To educate the public about this common infection, particularly its transmission, symptoms and management.
  • To work alongside medical and health professionals to ensure people with HPV receive optimal management.

Visit the NZ HPV Project website

NZ Sexual Health Society

The New Zealand Sexual Health Society (NZSHS) Incorporated is a group of professionals working or interested in the field of Sexual Health. Membership is multidisciplinary and includes doctors, nurses, counsellors, educators, health promoters and others in Public Health working in the field of sexually transmissible infections, including HIV/AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health.

Visit the NZ Sexual Health Society

OUTLine New Zealand Inc.

OUTLine NZ is a national telephone counselling and information support service for the Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Takataapui and Bisexual people of New Zealand. It operates from 10 am to 10 pm Monday to Friday and 5 pm to 10 pm on weekends. Call from Auckland 09 309 3268 or outside of Auckland 0800 OUTLINE (0800 6885463)

Visit the OUTLine NZ website

Rainbow Youth

We are a group of young people who run an organisation providing support, contact and education for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Fa’afafine and Takataapui youth. So what does it mean if you like someone who’s the same sex as you? What if you think you might be Gay? Or Lesbian? Or maybe Bisexual? Well that’s why we’re here.

Our aim at Rainbow Youth is to help young people to discover who they are and find strength in that. We can answer questions, provide information or get you in touch with our social groups Identity, Generation Q and Gender Quest.
We’ve been operating since 1989, talking to young people and schools about:

  • Coming out to family and friends
  • Being safe if you’re having sex
  • Plus healthy relationships

“We’re in every job, we’re every colour, we’re not out to take over the world, just live in it.” Amanda Bearse, Married with Children.

Visit Rainbow Youth website


Youthline offer a range of services for young people and their families across New Zealand. Their Youth Help Line 0800 376633 is available 24 hours a day as well as free text support on 234, and email, Youthline also offer face to face, pregnancy and family counselling, training and youth development programmes, seminars, youth work services, information and referrals.

Visit the Youthline website or visit the urge website.

Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa

Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa works to promote a positive view of sexuality and to enable people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health and well-being. We have 32 clinics nationwide offering a full-range of sexual health services including contraception, Sexually Transmissible Infection checks and treatment, menopause, cervical screening, vasectomy, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, pregnancy testing and advice and many others...

Visit the Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa website


Healthpoint is a tool that allows patients to access local information about what to expect prior to, during and following a referral to specialist medical healthcare services.
The information is approved, regularly reviewed and updated by clinicians.

Visit the Healthpoint website

Information for health professionals

Sexual Health Training

Auckland Sexual Health Service provides education for Health professionals. We offer the following study days:

  • An introduction to sexual health for health professionals
  • Sexually transmitted infection screening in pregnancy for midwives

View upcoming Study Days

We also provide targeted sessions for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Best Practice Guidelines

These Best Practice Guidelines have been produced by NZSHS, with funding from the Ministry of Health. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in these resources is correct at the time of publishing.

NZSHS Best Practice Guidelines

STI Surveillance: Annual Reports

These reports summarise the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for the year, and examines recent trends.

Using data from sexual health clinics, family planning clinics, student and youth health clinics, and diagnostic laboratories, these reports cover the STIs of public health importance, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, genital warts, syphilis, non-specific urethritis, chancroid, granuloma inguinale, and lymphogranuloma venereum.
Possible factors underlying the observed distribution and trends in STIs are discussed.

View the Annual ESR STI Reports

Contact the Sexual Health Registrar

The Sexual Health Registrar can be contacted on the following number:

021 883 703