NZAF

COVID-19 Updates

How is COVID-19 affecting NZAF and its services?

NZAF

Wednesday 12 August

Most of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1 for COVID-19, with the Auckland Region at Alert Level 2.

Even in Level 2 - we need to be trying to keep physical distance - so, while COVID-19 isn't a sexually transmitted infection, being in close personal contact with another person is one of the highest risk behaviours for this virus. When you add in shared bodily fluids, it's even higher risk. It's also important to test for HIV and other STIs before rejoining your sexual networks after Levels 2 & 3.

This page is where NZAF will host all relevant updates about how COVID-19 is affecting our services and offices. Last updated - Tuesday 22 September.

Rest assured we are committed to continuing to support our communities as best we can at this time. Take a look below to see how they will be impacted and what support is available to you at what is likely a stressful time right now. 


 

Testing services

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and alert level restrictions, there are changes across a number of services:

  • NZAF's testing centres are still open for booked appointments. Head to our test-booking tool to find an appointment that works for you. There are currently no Drop-In services available, please make sure to book a test in advance.
  • You can still order an HIV self-test that you can do at home - please bear in mind COVID-19 may affect delivery times.
  • Many sexual health clinics are open for appointments - call or email ahead to discuss your situation.
  • You can also contact your local GP / family doctor to request HIV or STI testing, if you have any concerns. It's still a good idea to call or email ahead.

 

Counselling

NZAF will continue to offer counselling services. Remote or face-to-face counselling services are able to be booked depending on your location - our remote sessions can be held via phone or video. Head to the counselling booking form to get in touch.

Also, check out this article for advice on how to look after your anxiety during this time.

 

Offices

NZAF's centres and offices are open - please note, contact tracing and physical distancing processes will be in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors - have your smart device ready to check-in digitally.

 

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

 

PrEP

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and alert level restrictions, it may impact your ability to get PrEP at this time - but there are options for accessing PrEP under level-2:

  • Many sexual health clinics are open for appointments - call or email ahead to discuss your situation.
  • You can also contact your local GP / family doctor to request PrEP

Note on discontinuing PrEP: 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. 

 

Sex

Most of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1 for COVID-19, with the Auckland Region at Alert Level 2.

Even in Level 2 - we need to be trying to keep physical distance - so, while COVID-19 isn't a sexually transmitted infection, being in close personal contact with another person is one of the highest risk behaviours for this virus. When you add in shared bodily fluids, it's even higher risk. It's also important to test for HIV and other STIs before rejoining your sexual networks after Levels 2 & 3.

To help make things more clear, we’ve put together our top 5 tips for playing safe in this unprecedented time. We can’t pick and choose with these if we want to stamp out COVID - everyone needs to take action in all of these areas!

Also, if you can still keep things digital and want advice - read our blogs Top Tips For Tasteful Nudes and Love In The Time of COVID-19 for how to get your rocks off and still maintain physical distancing 

A silver lining of the dark cloud of COVID-19 is that it presents us with an incredible opportunity to actually break the chain of transmission for other viruses. Read more here to find out what we should be doing before we're let back out into the world and the "arms" of future sexual partners.

 

The NZAF network

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