Porirua crowned STD capital of New Zealand

The latest STD figures are out and Porirua wins the top spot!

Those looking to avoid New Zealand’s most common STDs – gonorrhea and chlamydia – would do well to stay clear of Porirua.

Porirua topped the country for reported cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia for the 12 months ended November 2020 with 1137 cases per 100,000 people.

Right behind is Whangarei with 1068 cases per 100,000 people, with the Lakes region of Taupo and Rotorua in third with 1018. 

Meanwhile, the places most unaffected by these STDs – according to¬†Institute of Environmental Science and Research report – were the South Island’s West Coast and Nelson-Marlborough regions.

Chlamydia is by far the most-reported STD in New Zealand and females aged 15-29 account for the majority of cases. However, Public Health Physician Jill Sherwood from the ESR says this statistic may be misleading.

“That the majority of cases of chlamydia reported are among females is probably due to lower testing rates among males, and this raises the concern that many infections in males are going undiagnosed and untreated.”

As far as syphilis goes, the greater Auckland region accounted for 45 percent of the 548 cases reported nationwide during the same period.

Of those, 350 occurred in men who have sex with men – the majority of which were aged between 20 and 39.

The Government has not released a national-level strategy for sexual health since 2001. 

Last week it published the National Syphilis Action Plan, which Jason Myers – CEO of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) – says is a positive action but “three or four years behind the ball”.

“Syphilis is now a significant problem, and it could have been caught earlier,” he says.

“There is no excuse for a developed country to have these syphilis rates. It is totally inexcusable for babies to be dying from syphilis.” 

Myers says the NZAF is committed to raising awareness of STIs where it can, but the organisation’s focus is always HIV.

Chlamydia (per 100,000):

  • Porirua: 1025
  • Huntly: 915
  • Lakes (Taupo/Rotorua): 916
  • Bay of Plenty: 707
  • Wellington: 680

Gonorrhea (per 100,000):

  • Porirua: 180
  • Hawke’s Bay: 153
  • Huntly: 112
  • Northland: 104
  • Lakes (Taupo/Rotorua): 102

Syphilis (total cases)

  • Porirua: 245
  • Canterbury: 60
  • Wellington: 55
  • Waikato: 50
  • Bay of Plenty: 25



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