Christchurch diseased gays potential baby killers



Olivia Carville reports

Syphilis fuelled by iPhone applications such as Grindr have “come back with a vengeance” among Christchurch’s young homosexual community.

Sexual health physicians say the Government needs to take immediate action before the infection spreads into the heterosexual community, where it has the potential to claim the lives of unborn children.

Goodness.  What sort of a health explosion are we facing here?

Christchurch fielded a fourfold increase in infectious syphilis from 2011 to last year and so far this year 16 people have been treated for syphilis at the city’s Sexual Health Centre – with six of those infectious.

Canterbury District Health Board Sexual Health Centre physician Dr Heather Young said sexual health was “one of the most neglected hospital specialties” in New Zealand.

“If there is no specific action taken, it [syphilis] has the potential for rapid spread and I fear we will be just sitting here watching a train wreck,” Young said.

6 people in two months doesn’t seem to be an explosion.  Or is it?

From the most recently available “Sexually transmitted infections in New Zealand: Annual Surveillance Report 2011“, published in June 2012 we find that Christchurch used to be significantly underrepresented in syphilis cases.


Canterbury District Health Board Sexual Health Centre physician Dr Heather Young said sexual health was “one of the most neglected hospital specialties” in New Zealand.

Syphilis has been on the increase in New Zealand since 2003, with a rise of more than 193 per cent of cases between 2004 and 2006.

Rates peaked in Christchurch last year, Young said.

Not only did the number of cases leap from seven in 2011 to 28 last year, but the average age and way that men were contracting the infection also changed dramatically.

Looks like 4, to 7 to 28 is certainly a major leap when you keep an eye on the national statistics.

The real concern is that it is presenting itself in a new age demographic.  Here is a graph for all of New Zealand, with 39+ representing the top line.


Where syphilis used to be an old gay man’s disease, it is now appearing in much younger gay males.

Most men who caught syphilis in 2011 were in their mid-40s and contracted the disease at sex-on-site venues, such as brothels.

However, last year the median age dropped to 26, with some sufferers as young as 19. It was most commonly caught after the use of social media or iPhone applications such as Grindr, Boy Ahoy and NZ Dating, Young said.

“The highest number of people contracting infectious syphilis is men having sex with men and many are using social media sites or smartphones to search for sexual partners.”

The applications enabled men to meet “anywhere safe and convenient” for casual sex.

Young knew some patients who used Grindr and had had more than 50 sexual partners in three months. Others did not even know the name of their last partner.

Promiscuity and unsafe sex have always had obvious consequences.

One of the big concerns was syphilis’ potential to spread into the heterosexual community where it can be transferred from mother to baby during pregnancy.

Congenital syphilis could result in miscarriages, still births and abnormalities in babies, she said.


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  • ConwayCaptain

    Somtimes Syphilis does not sho up at all until it is too late to cure in 3rd stage. Syphilis was endemic in the population in the UK and other European countries until the advent of penicillin.
    The Aristos who went on ther Grand Tour and sampled the wares in Paris, Rome etc usuallly came back with a dose and therefore Syph was endemic in this portion of the population.
    The photos of Syph in the Shipmasters Medical Guide is enough to put you off sex for life!!!

  • Jack The Ladd

    Didn’t somebody say a few days ago the gay fad will slowly die out? Well bugger me, looks like its just around the corner.

    • Gayguy

      Gay fad??? I hope you were just trying to be funny, and failed, and do not really think of sexuality as a fad.

      • starboard

        I told you its a filthy pastime. You will never learn..blow on all you like gayguy but what you get up to is dirty , disgusting , immoral and life threatening. You and your ilk disgust me.

        • Gayguy

          The only disgusting evil thing here is you SB. You are pure scum.

          • starboard

            go back to your glory hole you disgusting individual

          • Gayguy

            LOL, oh you poor pathetic scummy creature you.

        • Richard McGrath

          SB, I’m not gay but I have gay friends who are nice, caring and (shock, horror) hygienic. Syphilis is not exclusively a gay disease. And vaginas are crawling with bacteria and sometimes dripping with STIs. Your comments suggest an underlying intolerance and prudishness.

          • Gayguy

            You will have to excuse SB, he hates homosexuals. And frankly hate is not strong enough to describe his sick twisted diseased mind.

          • starboard

            again you are pushing shit up hill gg ( excuse the pun ) have a look at how many negs you receive on your comments…you are clearly in the minority with your debauched thinking and ways. Do you REALLY think that homosexuality and same sex marriage is the way forward…are you that sick and twisted you think its the norm?

  • cows4me

    So for those that insist the gay lifestyle is seen as normal and should be promoted to our young, it would seem nature is of similar of point of view as some of us “bigots”. Please tell me how dying young from a horrible death is “normal”.

    • Gayguy

      Sigh you really are an idiot. Firstly you cannot promote homosexuality. You are or you are not. It is not a club you choose to join, unlike people like you who choose to be ignorant and hate.

      Secondly, while this is unacceptable, you want real horror stats, I suggest you look at the number of heteros with STI’s.


      • J.M

        I accept that some people choose to be gay, and that others never had that choice, but homosexuality is a real public health issue, as this article illustrates.

      • Jack The Ladd

        Some are, some are not. You are C4m is not, nor am I. How, pray tell me, does that equal ignorant, hate and bigot. We express an opinion and your only defence is to rave off. Every fucking time.

        • Gayguy

          There are opinions that are fact based and those that are based in hate and ignorance.

          I will not say sorry for slapping C4M down every single time he comes out with a stupid ignorant hate based opinion.

  • LesleyNZ

    At first I thought this post was a bit like Kevin Hague’s anti gay marriage video/add – a dig at the conservative thinkers. But it appears not to be the case. Once again the Bible is right. The Bible gives the message to ALL mankind that, “Promiscuity and unsafe sex have always had obvious consequences.” The Bible also says that men having sex with men is sinful. You can see why!

    • starboard

      + 1

    • Gayguy

      Good lord do you think before you post?

      Do you know the STI stats for heterosexuals? You seem clueless as to who the admonishments in the Bible actually are for as well.

      Educate yourself.

      • LesleyNZ

        Can’t you read Gayguy – ” The Bible gives the message to ALL mankind that, “Promiscuity and unsafe sex have always had obvious consequences.” Yes I do know the stats for heterosexuals however this post is about gay promiscuity – “Syphilis fuelled by iPhone applications such as Grindr have “come back with a vengeance” among Christchurch’s young homosexual community.” You are sounding a bit uppity again.

        • Gayguy

          No dear, not uppity, brimming with facts and truth. Something I know your kind have a problem with.

  • pauleastbay

    So, reading table 29, there are evidently no homo’s in South Canterbury, which I know for a fact is not correct. How many of the cases involve hetro sexuals? There is a hetro component to these stats but they are not getting mentioned.
    Six is not what you would call a 1918 ‘ flu epidemic really is it? lets be honest here.
    And I’m digging the way Steve Jobs seems to being held as a cause for this “epidemic”.

    Reading between the lines here it looks to me like Heather Young is actually looking for some more funding. . Funny how it works , the more of a ” epidemic” she creates the more cash she gets. So fuck off Heather and the author can as well of this normal Sunday piece of shit print masquarading as journalisim.