How is COVID-19 affecting our work?

Posted on April 16, 2020

This page is where Pamoja will host all relevant updates about how COVID-19 is affecting NZAF services and offices.

Last updated: Thursday 16 April

 

 

Testing 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.

 

Counselling & Mental Health

We 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.

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

 

Condoms

Our free condom ordering system is still functioning throughout the lockdown – click here to order.

 

Offices

As of Monday 23 March, NZAF’s National and Regional offices have been temporarily closed. Our staff are still working remotely and can still be contacted if you need help.

 

COVID-19 and people living with HIV

Over at NZAF they 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 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.

Are you thinking about stopping taking PrEP during the lockdown? 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.

If you’re a man who has sex with men, you may be able to stop PrEP more quickly. Visit Ending HIV for more information.

If you need any more information, please send us an email.