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International Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day 2017

International Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day 2017

Written by Amrita Surendranath, B.Sc, M.Sc.
Article Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on February 12, 2017 at 1:41 PM
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  • Sexual and reproductive health awareness day is celebrated on February 12th every year
  • Government of India has a hotline 1800-11-6555 to answer queries related to sexual health
  • The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases

February 12th is celebrated as the Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day to raise awareness about issues related to sexual and reproductive health. An important aspect of sexual and reproductive health awareness is to educate people about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). STDs are dreaded diseases that are a cause of major public health concern.

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International Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day 2017

The events conducted during this awareness day will aid in
  • Educating people about sexual health
  • Aiding in saving lives
  • Encouraging preventive action like the use of contraceptives Know about birth control pills
  • Initiating health sexual practices
  • Generating awareness about human rights associated with sexual health, female genital mutilation and mental health related to sexual health

Helpline for Indians

In India, there is a helpline available to provide confidential counseling as well as to answer queries associated with sexual health by the National Population Stabilisation Fund (Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh). The helpline number is 1800-11-6555.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

There are many sexually transmitted infections that exist, though most people are only aware of AIDS and HIV infections. The other sexually transmitted infections include genital warts, genital herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, crab lice and trichomoniasis. These are infections that are transmitted through sexual contact but are not limited by the gender, age or personal hygiene of the individual.

They are spread by the organisms that are found to thrive in semen, vaginal fluids, bumps, sores and the blood of infected individuals. Other methods of transmission of these infections are through sharing needles, use of un-sterilized equipment for body piercing as well as in tattooing.

UNAIDS Report 2012

According to the UNAIDS Report 2012
  • Nearly 34 million people live with HIV
  • 3.3 million of the affected individuals are below the age of 15
  • 7000 people contract HIV every day
  • This makes it 300 every hour
There is an urgent need for prevention of HIV to prevent the continued spread of the disease, especially in countries which have been showing a continuous increase in trend.

Role of Education

Education can play a key role in raising awareness about sexual and reproductive health of an individual, offering hope for a productive life. The UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education set up a working group called the "Accelerate Initiative Working Group" to increase awareness in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sexual and Reproductive Awareness Week

Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week is celebrated in certain regions of the world from February 12th to February 17th. The Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is actively raising awareness about opening up about doubts associated with sexual health.

The theme for this year's sexual and reproductive health awareness week is "Ready for some pillow talk" which is aimed at having an open communication between doctors and patients which is vital for sexual and reproductive health. This is based on

  • The right to sexual and reproductive health and care
  • The right to being treated with respect
  • The right to receive quality and accessible care
  • The right to have non-judgmental conversations that are free from stigma
Symptoms of Sexually transmitted diseases

The symptoms of the disease include
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Discharge that is unusual and with foul odor
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Itching sensation
  • Bleeding that occurs during intercourse or between menstrual periods
  • Pain during intercourse
An individual who suspects the presence of sexually transmitted diseases should visit a good physician. Even when the symptoms disappear, the infection may still remain with the need for treatment to cure it. When the infection remains untreated, it could lead to serious complications that could lead to sterility and could be fatal.

Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation

WHO has been actively campaigning against forced female genital mutilation, an essential component to healthy sexual and reproductive health. Current estimates show that over 200 million girls and women across the world have been subjected to harmful practices that inflict permanent harm to female genitalia.

The sexual and reproductive health awareness Day 2017 is an important day to spread the need to protect the body from harmful practices and to increase education about sexually transmitted diseases that threaten to reach epidemic proportions. Education at the grassroots level, starting form school children will aid in reaching out to individuals early and will encourage healthy sexual practices.

  1. About Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day - (https://www.nhp.gov.in/about-sexual-and-reproductive-health-awareness-day_pg)
  2. Sexual and Reproductive Health Day - (http://www.schoolsandhealth.org/News/Pages/Sexual%20and%20Reproductive%20Health%20Day.aspx)

Source: Medindia

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