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Sexual Health Campaign-Minister's Statement

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    Sexual Health Campaign-Minister's Statement - 1-Jun-2005
    JUDY TURNER (Deputy Leader-United Future) to the Minister of Health: Does she stand by her statement last year with reference to the No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba campaign that 'A sexual health campaign aimed at young people is not going to work if it doesn't get buy-in from young people.'; if not, why not?

    Hon ANNETTE KING (Minister of Health): Yes.

    Judy Turner: Is she concerned that $630,000 more funding, on top of the $1.3 million already spent on her No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba campaign, is simply throwing more money into gimmicky slogans that fail to give teenagers substantive information about the risks of sexually transmitted infections, let alone question whether sexual involvement is even appropriate for them, and will she commit to implementing a more realistic programme, given that a recent evaluation of the campaign stressed that a more multifaceted approach is needed to produce meaningful changes in teenage sexual behaviour?

    Hon ANNETTE KING: No. If the member is talking of the survey that was on television last night, I think that survey was undertaken before the commencement of the No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba programme. I can tell the member that an evaluation has been carried out on the programme, and it showed that 97 percent of respondents were aware of the campaign, 65 percent had discussed it with their friends, and 49 percent indicated that the campaign probably had increased the likelihood of their using condoms in the future. The number of respondents who said that they would still have sex if no condom was available had decreased from 46 percent pre-campaign to 36 percent post-campaign. There were also other results from that evaluation. I would prefer to rely on that evaluation than on a survey that-although it may have been perfectly good- was taken before the campaign on which the member based her question began.

    Lesley Soper: Does the Minister agree with Dr Sue Bagshaw's comment on Close Up last night that education alone will not make a difference in young people's awareness of the need to use condoms?

    Hon ANNETTE KING: Yes, I do agree because I agree that education needs to go alongside the development of other life skills, including learning to negotiate in a relationship, which in some cases is learning the skill to say no.

    Judy Turner: Has she read the study released yesterday by the Otago University school of medicine that showed that only 44 percent of sexually active teens use condoms, and then only because they fear pregnancy rather than contracting a sexually transmitted infection; if so, does she agree with the view of the author that advertising campaigns and sex education in schools are not enough to change students' attitudes towards sexually transmitted infections?

    Hon ANNETTE KING: Yes, and that result is a worry. That survey was taken before the campaign that the member mentioned in her first question. As was pointed out on television last night-and I agree, as I said in my previous answer to my colleague-the issue does require more than education.

    Judy Turner: Does the fact that the latest No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba advertisements on bus stops feature only the cartoon character and the slogan mean that her Government thinks teenagers are not smart enough to absorb more informative messages, and does she think the slogan gives the impression that being in possession of a condom is the only consideration needed when contemplating sexual involvement?

    Hon ANNETTE KING: No and no.
    Ref: - Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives - Hubba Hubba

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