Chlamydia is on the rise in Tauranga and health officials fear some young people are viewing safe sex lessons as "scare tactics" aimed at keeping them from having a good time.
At least 188 people contracted Chlamydia in the Bay of Plenty district between January and March this year.
The figure is up by 24 cases compared to the previous quarter, which was the lowest since 2010.
By comparison, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, genital warts and syphilis have all dropped - although herpes only decreased from 23 cases to 22 this year.
Doctor Lorna Claydon, team leader for Tauranga Hospital's Sexual Health Unit, said there had been an overall fall in the rarer STIs such as gonorrhoea and syphilis.
"When talking to young people about what they have been taught about STIs like these, they often dismiss them as 'scare tactics' tuned by educators to dissuade them from being sexually active.
"They are more distressed by the thought of herpes or genital warts because they are more visible STIs," Dr Claydon said.
"The other big factor that comes up time and again is that when people drink alcohol, they are much less likely to use a condom during sex."
A survey published by the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) found a prevalence of risky sexual behaviours from people aged 17-24.
The survey polled 5770 university students across New Zealand and 58 per cent of men and 51 per cent of women surveyed reported using a condom.
The survey concluded multiple sexual partnerships were common. Condom use was uncommon and inversely associated with a number of recent sexual partners. One in 20 students had, or contributed to, at least one unintentional pregnancy, NZMJ stated.