31 Oct 2013

Openness the key to promoting sexual health in Pacific communities

7:46 pm on 31 October 2013

A Pacific researcher says one of the keys to promoting sexual health in Pacific communities in New Zealand is to speak openly about the subject.

Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia was speaking at a three-day Family Planning conference that is underway in Wellington.

She says a challenge for sexual and reproductive health service providers is talking about a subject that can be viewed as tapu or sacred in some communities.

"The messages are tailored that when we thinking about the Pacific population that we are quite aware that there is actually great diversity in terms of cultures, in terms of views of sexual health, the role of women, the role of men, in terms of contraceptive behaviour, and it's thinking about OK knowing what we do know, if we are designing messages, what's the best way to target our Pacific young people in comparison to their parents."

Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia says it is important to affirm Pacific values such as family and spirituality when delivering sexual health messages.