STIEF is a national consumer-focused organisation which provides medically accurate information, support, education and resources based on current international best practice, regarding the optimal management of herpes, HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
We are an umbrella organisation providing governance and project management to the New Zealand Herpes Foundation, the New Zealand HPV Project and Just the Facts (about sexual health and STIs).
STIEF is a non-profit incorporated company and a registered charity.
We have the following mission:
To enhance the wellbeing of all those affected by sexually transmitted infections.
We will achieve this through maintaining a consumer focus, raising awareness of sexually transmitted infections, strengthening support networks, promoting education programmes and enabling optimal clinical management.
The organisation was formed in response to the identified need for education, support, and understanding for people affected by STIs. Also in recognition that health professionals require specialised skills and resources to provide optimum STI diagnosis and management.
In New Zealand, STIs are common, although the true incidence and prevalence is unknown as many STIs are asymptomatic (do not show symptoms) and remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Many people who are diagnosed with STIs experience shock, shame and feelings of isolation; accentuated by the myths, ignorance and stigma which society, both lay and professional, perpetuate.
The STIEF founders recognised that the physical, psychological and social consequences of STIs severely compromise the quality of life of those affected. Two key factors were identified as being central to improving the wellbeing of people affected by STIs:
ensuring that health professionals have access to national best practice clinical guidelines to enable optimal patient management.
STIEF is governed by a Board of Directors. We currently have seven Directors who constitute the board.
Our operations are managed by a team of four individuals all contracted on a part-time basis – an Executive Director, Secretary and two Nurse Counsellors who share cover of the herpes and HPV Helpline.
STIEF has a Professional Advisory Group (PAG) which supports the organisation to achieve its objectives by providing independent advice, review, and update of the STIEF (NZ Herpes Foundation and NZ HPV Project) best practice clinical guidelines for the management of STIs and reviewing and supporting other STIEF projects and project material. The PAG is comprised of key subject matter experts who represent each of the specialist medical disciplines involved in the management of STIs, together with representatives from general practice, patient counselling (nurse counsellor) and consumer advocate/s. This tripartite approach is based on international best practice.
STIEF was established in 1999 as the Viral Sexually Transmitted Infections Education Foundation as an umbrella organisation providing governance and project management to the New Zealand Herpes Foundation and the New Zealand HPV Project. In 2011 it was renamed the Sexually Transmitted Infections Education Foundation and, in 2013, the scope of the organisation was expanded to include information and education regarding all STIs; and resulted in the launch of the Just the Facts, an online resource aimed primary at young people about sexual health and STIs.
STIEF is funded mainly through a contract with the Ministry of Health which is administered by the Auckland District Health Board on behalf of collective District Health Boards. We are also reliant on donations and educational grants to support ongoing development and delivery of our services in order to meet the needs of our consumers and the demands of changing technology.