Thursday 26 March
This page is where NZAF will host all relevant updates about how COVID-19 is affecting our services and offices. Last updated - Thursday 26 March
You can be sure NZAF remains committed to supporting the communities it serves at this time and is offering alternatives to face-to-face services as well as being contactable via email and 0800 802 437.
You can sign up here to be kept informed about the status of our services.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, there are changes across a number of services:
- NZAF testing centres are temporarily closed. However, you can still order an HIV self-test that you can do at home
- In order to conserve key lab resources, routine (not related to any symptoms) STI screenings should be postponed.
- Most sexual health clinics are offering reduced services and essential care only. If you are experiencing any symptoms around your genital area, please call your local Sexual Health Clinic and talk about your specific situation.
- You can also contact your local GP / family doctor to request HIV or STI testing, if you have any concerns. Call or email ahead – in most cases appointments can be arranged remotely.
NZAF will continue to offer counselling services remotely and counsellors are able to hold sessions via phone or video. Head to the counselling booking form to get in touch and find the best option for you.
As of Monday 23 March, NZAF's National and Regional offices have been closed. Our staff are still working remotely and NZAF can still be contacted via phone and email if you need help.
COVID-19 and people living with HIV
NZAF is also monitoring the latest understandings and medical advice on how COVID-19 might affect people living with HIV - read more here
Due to the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, New Zealand’s health system is under significant pressure and this may impact your ability to get PrEP at this time.
- Many sexual health clinics have temporarily suspended PrEP appointments – you should call them to check before turning up at their services.
- You may be able to get PrEP from a GP/family doctor but you will likely need to have your appointment via phone or video.
- To keep COVID-19 transmissions as low as possible, we are recommending not to engage in casual sex at this time. Consider whether you need PrEP during this time or can wait until the lockdown is lifted.
For cisgender men who have sex with men, PrEP can be safely discontinued by taking the tablets for two consecutive days (48 hours) after your last condomless sex – it doesn’t matter if you take it daily or on-demand (2-1-1). If you are not a cisgender man who has sex with man, the current guidelines recommend to continue taking PrEP for 28 days since your last condomless sex before it can be discontinued. It is important to remember that HIV testing needs to be done prior to restarting PrEP.
As the country moves to alert level 4, people should not even be considering leaving the house for casual or anonymous sex and should not be inviting people into their homes. Read more here.