About The New Zealand Sexual Health Society (NZSHS) Incorporated


The New Zealand Sexual Health Society (NZSHS) Incorporated is a group of professionals working or interested in the field of Sexual Health. Membership is multidisciplinary and includes doctors, nurses, counsellors, educators, health promoters and others in Public Health working in the field of sexually transmissible infections, including HIV/AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health.

The New Zealand Sexual Health Society Inc. was formerly the New Zealand Venereological Society (NZVS). This change occurred in 2006 to more fully express the wider aims of this society.

The Society become Incorporated in April 2010.

Objectives of the society

  • To advocate for and promote Sexual Health for all in New Zealand.
  • To promote high standards of clinical practice within Sexual Health in New Zealand
  • To promote the speciality of Sexual Health amongst colleagues and peers
  • To encourage research within New Zealand with regard to Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs).

The Society organises an annual conference, which includes an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and an academic programme. The Society's executive committee is elected at the AGM. Members must be financial to participate in the AGM or at Special General Meetings.


  • Promoting STI/HIV prevention and Sexual Health for all through education
  • Acting as advocates for those most at risk of STIs and HIV/AIDS
  • Ongoing central lobbying to ensure an continued commitment to the tenets of Sexual Health including free, confidential and widely available specialist clinical services
  • Regular education forums for health professionals to provide ongoing education and support
  • Advisory role to the Ministry of Health and other government agencies in relation to proposed legislative or policy changes affecting Sexual Health
  • Monitoring the epidemiology of STIs and HIV/AIDS, and hence lobbying for appropriate intervention strategies
  • Promoting the implementation of health education programmes
  • Promoting the development of national guidelines for STI management
  • Informing and updating NZSHS members through the NZSHS Bulletin


Dame Margaret Sparrow, one of our members, compiled this history of sexual health in New Zealand. This history is relevant to honour those who have contributed in the past, enhancing our understanding of the present and providing us with insights so that we can more clearly formulate a vision for the future.

Milestones in New Zealand Sexual Health

Dame Margaret Sparrow has also written a tribute to Ettie Rout in 2014 to celebrate her as a sexual health pioneer. It is a collection of events beggining in the First World War where she promoted 'safe sex' with the Australian and New Zealand troops.

A Tribute to Ettie Rout

Presentation at the 32nd New Zealand Sexual Health Conference by Margaret Sparrow and Jane Tolerton in 2010. This is a photographic presentation of Ettie's life and books she published.

Gone but not forgotten

Dame Margaret Sparrow made an eigth day journey to the Cook Islands. Her aim was to clean repaint and retore Ettie Rout's grave at the Avarua Christian Church in Raratonga. Margaret Sparrow had been planning the restoration for more than three years and is delighted she completed her goal.

Restoring Ettie's Grave