Te hunga pāpāho

Recent media releases from STIEF, our associates
and other authoritative sources

Ko ngā whakapāhotanga nō na tata nei i a STIEF, ō mātou rōpū me ētahi ake puna tohutoho



Who Doesn't Have It?

Press release - STIEF
Scoop. 11.30am, Mar 2 2022

The 4th of March marks International HPV Awareness Day. This year’s international campaign theme is #onelessworry. The Human Papillomavirus, known as HPV, is one of the world’s most widespread viral infections, usually resulting from direct skin-to-skin contact during intimate sexual contact with someone who has HPV. The virus can be transmitted by penetrative as well as non-penetrative sexual contact and is thought to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. In the case of sexually active adults, 80% of us are affected by HPV at some point in our lives - so - who doesn’t have it?


'You may have chlamydia' email from University of Otago an uncomfortable but welcome surprise

Sinead Gill 16:58, Feb 10 2022

The first few weeks at university can be a petri dish for colds and flus, but catching a sexually transmitted infection can also be on the cards for unprepared students.

Much like Covid-19, contact tracing STIs was just as important as testing to stop the spread, though there was little formal funding for it, a sexual health expert said.

Luckily for students at the University of Otago, the university offered an anonymous messaging service to avoid the embarrassment or discomfort an STI-positive student may feel contacting sexual partners.


Herpes and me, six months on

Sarah 05:00, Aug 10 2021

In a follow-up from her candid story about her herpes battle, Sarah is back with what’s happened since – and to say she’s been blown away is an understatement.

In February, just in time for Valentine’s Day, I wrote an article about something I never thought I’d be writing about. Herpes. Herpes and me, unfortunately.

I say unfortunately but I actually feel pretty lucky. It’s now been seven months since my blind-siding diagnosis and four since I published my article on Capsule. That article resulted in dozens and dozens of personal emails landing in my inbox, good people from New Zealand and around the world sharing their own herpes stories.

A diagnosis of an STI can feel incredibly lonely, especially a diagnosis of herpes, and here I was receiving messages of support, shared experiences, cries for help from the recently diagnosed and comedic retellings of blatantly unfunny situations. I’ve been so grateful for each and every one. (Please note: if I haven’t responded to you yet, I will get there! I haven’t forgotten you!)


World Head and Neck Cancer Day

Joint press release - STIEF & HNCFA
Scoop. 16:35, Jul 26 2021

27th of July marks the World Head and Neck Cancer Day. The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation Aotearoa (HNCFA) and the Sexually Transmitted Infections Education Foundation (STIEF) would like to take this opportunity to raise the awareness to New Zealanders about the devastating health impacts of head and neck cancers, including oropharyngeal (throat) cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and to remind everyone that prevention is available in the form of the Gardasil vaccine. This highly effective and safe vaccine prevents infection with HPV, and massively reduces the risk of developing many different forms of cancer, including oropharyngeal cancer, cervical cancer and penile cancer.


HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer

Ramesh Pandey & Swee Tan
New Zealand Doctor - Undoctored. 11:05, Jul 26 2021

World Head and Neck Cancer Day on 27 July is an opportunity to remind all healthcare providers to take part in education, early diagnosis and prevention of human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal cancer.


HPV vaccine uptake languishing below target amid rising cancer rates

Hannah Martin 16:37, Apr 23 2021

Uptake of the HPV vaccine is “absolutely not” where it needs to be, with immunisation rates lagging well behind the national target.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is one of the most widespread sexually transmitted infections and is associated with almost all cervical cancers.

It is very common – an "almost inevitable consequence" of being a sexually active adult – with a four in five chance (80 per cent) of becoming infected in your lifetime.

But uptake of a vaccine which protects against infection and can prevent cancers languishes behind the national target – a “poor cousin” which doesn't get the attention it needs, an expert says.


Sexual health experts concerned by drop in number of young people getting HPV vaccine

Vandhna Bhan
1 NEWS Apr 23 2021 

Sexual health experts are concerned by a drop in the number of young people vaccinated last year against HPV, a virus that can cause a raft of cancers including most types of cervical cancers.


Concerned over drop in numbers of young people getting HPV vaccines

Nicole Bremner
1 NEWS Apr 22 2021 (video content)

Vaccines for HPV are offered to intermediate school age children but some GPs say there could be factors beyond Covid for reduced numbers receiving the jab.

Watch the video...

MP's cervical cancer diagnosis a wake-up call

Siouxsie Wiles 05:00, Apr 12 2021

OPINION: I was very sad to hear the news that cabinet minister and East Coast MP Kiri Allan​ has been diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer. If you don’t know where the cervix is, it’s the small passageway connecting the vagina and the uterus.

As Minister for Emergency Management, she calmly dealt with the aftermath of the recent earthquakes off the East Cape and the Kermadec Islands. That same day she’d also had an ultrasound and biopsy after experiencing months of back, stomach, and leg pain and a period that was lasting weeks rather than days. Those are all potential signs of cervical cancer.

The most important risk factor for cervical cancer is persistent infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).​ HPV spreads through sexual intercourse and skin-to-skin contact. That also includes hand to genital contact, oral sex, and to babies during childbirth.


Vaccine Passport – Have You Got Your Cancer-prevention Stamp?

Joint press release - STIEF & HNCFA
Scoop 09:52. Mar 3 2021

As our collective consciousness is focussed on coronavirus and the new COVID vaccines, it seems timely to remind New Zealanders about another effective virus-fighting vaccine that we should be thinking about too: Gardasil. This highly effective, safe vaccine fights the Human Papillomavirus, known as HPV, and massively reduces the risk of developing genital warts, as well as multiple different forms of cancer.

The 4th of March marks International HPV Awareness Day. HPV is one of the world’s most widespread viral infections, usually resulting from direct skin-to-skin contact during intimate sexual contact with someone who has HPV. The virus can be transmitted by penetrative as well as non-penetrative sexual contact and is thought to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation Aotearoa (HNCFA) and the Sexually Transmitted Infections Education Foundation (STIEF) want to take this opportunity to remind New Zealanders about the devastating health impacts that can result from HPV infection, and to encourage those that haven’t already had their Gardasil vaccine, to book in now!


Heartbreak, hopes and Herpes: What it's actually like to have an STI

Sarah 16:00, Feb 10 2021

Kiwi woman Sarah thought her date was something special – but he gave her something she never anticipated. Here, she clears up some of the stigma surrounding STI’s and shares the real story of what it’s like to contract a sexually transmitted infection. Turns out, herpes is MUCH more common than you’d think – and we need to start talking about it.

This wasn’t my first rodeo; the dull ache and constant need to pee were all too familiar.

“I feel like I’ve been punched in the vagina,” I announced to the poor pharmacist. She looked alarmed. “Oh goodness,” she replied as she handed over the prescription for my rapidly worsening bladder infection. “Perhaps some thrush cream too? Just in case?”

But nothing was working. This was next level discomfort.


How HPV spread through oral sex can cause cancer in men

Siobhan Downes 05:00, Aug 04 2020

Known as the “common cold” of sexually transmitted infections, without immunisation, around 80 per cent of sexually active adults will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. The virus is most commonly associated with cervical cancer, with 150 women in New Zealand diagnosed every year. It can also cause other cancers in the genital area of both men and women, specifically the vagina, vulva, penis and anus.

But in recent years, medical professionals have also started seeing a steady rise in HPV-related head and neck cancers in heterosexual men. For this group, the main risk is oropharyngeal cancer, which affects the tissues at the back of the mouth, throat and nasal passages. Though oropharyngeal cancer has traditionally been linked to smoking and heavy drinking, in recent years HPV has started to overtake cigarettes and alcohol as the leading cause. In almost all cases, the virus is transmitted to the mouth through oral sex with an infected partner.


Contraception and 'bubble sex' in a time of Coronavirus

Dr Cathy Stephenson 05:00, Mar 31 2020

ADVICE: As we hunker down in our "bubbles" for the next few weeks, families and flatmates all over the nation are finding ways to while away the hours indoors, without the usual distractions of work, socialising and travel.

For couples, one thing that may well be continuing during lockdown is sex. In fact, if historical events are an indicator, there is probably more of it happening now in existing relationships than might be the norm.


GPs get unclear message on changes for cervical screening, says White


A lack of communication from the Ministry of Health about changes to cervical cancer screening is unsatisfactory, says NZMA GP Council chair Jan White.

Most people in primary care sector knew changes to the National Cervical Screening Programme were afoot, but many weren’t informed the age of entry would officially increase on 1 November, from 20 to 25, Dr White says.


Why changes have been made to NZ's cervical screening programme

Dr Cathy Stephenson   05:00, Oct 15 2019

ADVICE:  As New Zealanders, we are lucky to have had a robust screening programme for cervical cancer for many years.

I know from talking to patients from overseas that in many parts of the world this type of screening test isn't freely available, creating inequity of access and leading to preventable cancers in those people who are often most at risk....

The vaccine that can prevent cancer

Dr Cathy Stephenson  05:00, Jul 23 2019

This Saturday is "World Head and Neck Cancer Day".

As well as including skin cancers, cancers of the nasal passages, salivary glands and other areas, the "head and neck" group also includes oropharyngeal cancers – those that affect the middle part of the throat.

Oropharyngeal cancers definitely aren't well known, but numbers of people affected by them are growing at an alarming rate – and the consequences of...

Why are we so scared of checkups?

Re: News – NOTE: Video Content
5 February 2019

Young kiwis waiting to seek STI treatment

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan
RadioNZ  1:17 pm on 31 August 2018

Young kiwis aren't getting help for sexual health issues early enough.

New research by Massey University, the first study of its kind in New Zealand, found 40 per cent of young people waited until they experienced symptoms, and some waited even longer, before seeking tretament.