text by Alice Angeloni, Local Democracy Reporter
A summer campaign to combat sexually transmitted infections and Covid-19 is calling for young people to mask up on "top and bottom".
The campaign, co-ordinated by Hauora Tairāwhiti and the Tairāwhiti sexual health working group, encourages young people to "keep track of where you've tapped", reminding people to track who they have come into contact with for the purpose of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Covid-19.
Hauora Tairāwhiti will launch the "keep you and your mates safe over summer/Tiakina i ā koe me tō hoa i tēnei Raumati e hoa mā" campaign today, Boxing Day, ahead of the three-day Rhythm and Vines festival which starts in Gisborne on December 28.
Tairāwhiti continues to report high per-capita rates of STIs among 16 to 30-year-olds.
Hauora Tairāwhiti health promotion adviser Cheanne Johnson said there was a need to remind young people that practising safe sex by using condoms provided their best protection against STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
Numerous festivals and events occurring in the region meant the campaign was likely to be seen and heard by more young people, she said.
Gisborne people are the faces of a campaign to "mask top and bottom" against sexually transmitted infections and Covid-19. Photo / Supplied
"With the threat of Covid-19 looming over everyone in Aotearoa, a campaign promoting safe sex provides added benefit in reminding people to keep track of who they have been in contact with.
"With thousands of young people gathering at local events, it is an opportunity to encourage rangatahi to think about keeping themselves safe while using playful positive messages.
"Are they keeping track of who they have sex with, are they being 'sex smart' by using condoms?"
Johnson said the campaign would run across radio and social media.
The radio advertisements would call for people to remember what comes before sex.
"That is consent — the agreement between each other before doing anything," she said.
Messages would include: "Mask top and bottom/Āraihia a runga, āraihia a raro" and "Keep track of where you've tapped/Haurapatia rā ō haerenga pārekareka."
This actually translated to "track your fun adventures", Johnson said.
This is the second year Hauora Tairāwhiti has run the "keep yourself and your mates safe over summer" campaign.