FAQ


Here is where we can answer any questions you might have about  love, sex and everything in-between!

Flick us a question here – it will be totally anonymous contact@lcp.nz  Just put ‘FAQ question’ in the subject line.

 

Can I apply for a visa to visit or live in New Zealand if I am living with HIV?

Immigration New Zealand do not have specific policies on HIV as it is a part of their over-all health policy. People with HIV can apply for a visa, but that doesn’t guarantee they will be approved. Their health will be taken into account when assessing their visa application.  It is worth noting, however, that HIV is listed as a medical condition deemed to impose significant costs and/or demands on New Zealand’s health and/or education services (read more).

Here is a link to INZ’s health requirements leaflet and health policy for residence and temporary visa application:

Where can I get tested for STIs?

You can get yourself tested at any of NZAF’s clinics in Aukcland, Wellington and Christchurch, and also from our network of counsellors at other locations in New Zealand. It’s free and confidential. You can book online or call us.

How long does an HIV test take and when can I get the test results? I had sex without a condom a few weeks ago and I’m really worried.

Is there any risk of HIV transmission if viral load is undetectable?

When can a test be done after sex, do I need to wait for few months to take a test after having sex or can I do it immediately?

Hi, The New Zealand AIDS Foundation HIV tests measures HIV antibodies in the blood stream. The time between acquiring HIV and the development of these antibodies can be up to three months. This is referred to as the ‘window period’ and is our recommended waiting time. While there’s nothing stopping you getting tested immediately after sexual intercourse, we do recommend that you come back for a second, conclusive test after the three month mark.

If, three weeks after having a wisdom tooth extracted, I kissed a girl with HIV, would I get the virus too?

Hello and thanks for your question. You can’t contract HIV from sharing saliva so no, you wouldn’t be likely to contract the virus in this case – even if you’ve had a wisdom tooth out. There are three main ways HIV is transmitted – via direct blood to blood contact, mother to baby via breast milk, or most commonly – during sexual intercourse via semen, anal mucous, or vaginal fluid. The only way the virus could be transmitted orally is if the person you kissed had a gaping, bleeding cut in their mouth and you had an open wound in your mouth, but even then the chances are very small – the HIV positive person would have to have a very high HIV count for this to even be remotely possible. If you’re still feeling really worried and want some peace of mind you’re welcome to book in for a free and confidential HIV test Get Tested.

Is it possible to have an HIV negative baby if I am living with HIV?

Yes it is possible. In New Zealand, there are almost no cases of ante-natal (mother to child) transmission. Let your HIV specialist know if you plan to get pregnant or as soon as you find out that you are pregnant and they will guide you through the process.

Is it possible to catch an STI if both people in the relationship were virgins before they had sex?

It’s unlikely but possible. STI’s can be passed through unprotected sex, contamination of blood or even passed from your parents at birth. Your partner may have an STI so using a condom and lube is always recommended. There is also a high risk of pregnancy if you have unprotected sex, even if it is the first time for both of you.

I had sex last night and the condom broke/came off. I am really worried about getting pregnant. What can I do?

You can take something called the Emergency Contraceptive Pill, or ECP. This used to be known as the Morning After Pill. You can access the ECP over the counter at a pharmacy in New Zealand or by making an appointment at a Family Planning Clinic, Sexual Health Service, or your own doctor. The ECP can only be used within 72 hours of unprotected sex so it’s essential to take action as soon as possible.

Because the condom broke, you may be at risk of HIV/STIs, so it would be a good idea to have a sexual health check-up at a an NZAF Regional Centre, Sexual Health Service, Family Planning Clinic, Youth Health Service or your own doctor.  For an HIV test, you will need to get a second, follow up test 3 months after having unprotected sex.

I have had many sexual partners and now I am worried that I may have been infected with HIV ‘cos I keep getting colds and flu all the time. How do I know if you have HIV?

The only way to know is to have a blood test if you are worried . Definitely get it checked out. HIV can take years before it shows any signs or symptoms. You can get an HIV test at an NZAF Regional Centre or counsellor, Family Planning Clinic, Sexual Health Service, or your own doctor.

Can you catch HIV from kissing?

It’s possible but very rare. Kissing on the mouth is extremely low risk for HIV transmission: the only time it would be possible if both people had open wounds in their mouths that were bleeding and kissed for a long, long time.

Hi, I have been with my boyfriend for a few months, we have sex with a condom quite regularly, but as soon as it is finished my whole crotch area is itchy and just below my opening there is this like little cut like it’s torn. How am I supposed to heal this? We don’t have rough sex. But it really hurts. Thanks for your help

What you described may be a common condition called ‘thrush’ which is easily treated. Thrush can be sexually transmitted but it can also occur naturally. The best way to find out is to have a check up at your local Sexual Health Service, Family Planning Clinic, Youth Health Service, or your doctor to determine exactly what it is.

How do I know if I have an STI or if my partner does?

The only way to know for sure is to have a test; some STIs have blood tests, some have urine tests and some have swabs.

There are many STIs with a wide range of symptoms and some people can have an STIs and not have any symptoms at all (e.g. chlamydia). You can be tested at for STIs at Sexual Health Services, NZAF Regional Centres and counsellors, Family Planning Clinics, Youth Health Services, and your doctor.

Some STIs can be cured but not all of them. Some of the most serious STIs like HIV, have no cure.

Because the condom broke, you may be at risk of HIV/STIs, so it would be a good idea to have a sexual health check-up at a an NZAF Regional Centre, Sexual Health Service, Family Planning Clinic, Youth Health Service or your own doctor. For an HIV test, you will need to get a second, follow up test 3 months after having unprotected sex.

I come from a country that has high prevalence of HIV, what steps do I have to  take to ensure my safety and the safety of those around me? Also I am dating a guy but not quite sure how to negotiate testing or to ask him about his HIV status, is the fact that he is in NZ enough to tell me he is HIV negative?

Knowing your HIV status is an important part of keeping yourself and those around you safe. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, whether here in NZ or in your home country, we would strongly advise having an HIV test.  Visit Get Tested for details on where you can get tested. It is never a good idea to assume that a person is HIV negative. Even if they live in a country where HIV prevalence is low, or if they look healthy, you can’t be certain. Many people who start relationships discuss each other’s health and well-being, and you are certainly entitled to ensure your safety in a relationship. Perhaps start a conversation about general health and then work towards suggesting that you go together for a check-up and a full STI test as a way of protecting you both.