The New Zealand parliament has launched a campaign today with the phrase \"No Rubba no Hubba Hubba\", this means ?no condom, no sex' - this is an attempt at combating the country's growing rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Rather than promoting just abstinence, the New Zealand Health Ministry is encouraging young people to use condoms. The authorities are using all media to promote the message. The messages also explain the consequences of having sex.

Annette King, New Zealand's Health Minister, said it is necessary to be realistic about the subject of sex - despite the fact that some people may find talking to young people about it awkward.

According to government figures, one fifth of secondary school kids in New Zealand are sexually active. Annette King said \"If they are not using condoms, these young people are putting themselves at risk of sexually transmitted infections and viruses like chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV. The NZ government has an obligation to support an approach that reflects what is actually happening. Sexually active young people must be given the information and tools to protect themselves from STIs?.. Young people are encouraged to think carefully about sexual decisions, and parents and caregivers encouraged to talk to teenagers about sex and to discuss issues like understanding that sexual relationships involve caring, concern and responsibility.\"

Chlamydia rates in New Zealand are higher than in the UK, Australia, Canada, and even the USA. The number of young girls getting Chlamydia in New Zealand is growing. A recent study showed that out of 2,327 infected women, 74 were under the age of 15, while 1,063 were aged from 15-19.

Cases of Chlamydia have risen by 65% over the last five years. Cases of gonorrhoea have risen by 57% (during the same period). Figures for HIV infection among men who have sex with men, and drug addicts, have also increased significantly.