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Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day 2023

Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day 2023

Max Lab

Feb 11, 2023

India is a country where sexual health is not discussed in the open. In fact, the topic, being related to ‘sex’ is still considered taboo by many. Due to the associated fear and shame that people have been taught to feel, several sexual health issues tend to go unnoticed and unmanaged for years.

For a majority of the population, the first information they get about sex generally comes from their friends, TV shows, books, pornographic movies or the internet – sources that more often than not are clandestinely obtained because of the stigma that surrounds sex. This incorrect information that they are receiving can be quite detrimental in the long run. The lack of awareness and guidance regarding these topics is one of the biggest reasons behind the sexual exploitation of vulnerable adolescents, STDs, early unintended pregnancies, and other issues.

Understanding Sexual Health

Initially defined in conjunction with reproductive health, with similar rights being covered by both, sexual health is now known to be a distinct aspect of one’s well-being. The scope of sexual and reproductive health awareness is not limited to STDs, family planning, contraceptives, and safe sex practices. It includes related physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being as well, which is why sexual and reproductive health awareness and rights are a part of basic human rights that everyone deserves.

Not suffering from some disease, infirmity, or dysfunction is not the only requirement of sexual well-being, as one also needs to be physically, socially, mentally, and emotionally healthy with regard to sexuality. Sexual health needs an approach that is respectful and positive, for which, it is crucial to protect, respect, and fulfil the sexual rights of everyone.

The Need for Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness

Sexual and reproductive well-being form an important part of one’s overall health, just like physical health, mental health, financial health, etc. Being a complex and rich experience, human sexuality cannot be labelled into a few categories; it encompasses issues related to erotism, sexual pleasure and satisfaction, genital mutilation, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and STDs, and sexual dysfunctions. On the other hand, reproductive health covers childbearing, fertility, proper family planning, etc. Today, it is believed that more than a million people contract an STI. But the bigger issue is that these STIs are mostly preventable. To help people across all levels of society understand the importance of sexual and reproductive health, and to encourage preventative action and safe practices, it is crucial to spread awareness for the same.

Sexual Health Awareness Day

Initiated by the Public Health Agency of Canada and now observed across the world, the day for sexual health and reproductive health awareness is observed every year on the 12th of February.

Sexual and reproductive health awareness covers a wide range of issues and implies that regardless of one’s gender identity or geographic location, everyone has the right to information and access to proper health care services, health education, and birth control methods, to name a few.

The aim of the sexual health awareness day is to create awareness, spread knowledge, and educate the population about such matters, including:

  • Educating people about sexual health issues, like STDs, menopause, puberty, etc.
  • Spreading awareness about reproduction-related issues like birth control, unsafe abortions, infertility, etc.
  • Advocating safe sex practices.
  • Creating awareness about the prevention of STDs
  • Educating women about family planning and the various types of birth control available.
  • Educating people about different sexual wellness supplements and medicines.
  • Discussing the horrors of archaic practices like female genital mutilation and why they should be stopped.
  • Encouraging more open conversations between partners about sexual health and its various avenues.
  • Helping one improve one’s overall sexual and reproductive health.
  • Steadily taking India towards being more open and comfortable with sexual and reproductive health awareness.

A Notable Action for World Sexual Health Day

It is important that people understand that many sexually transmitted infections and diseases are quite treatable or manageable if addressed in time. However, as one hesitates and postpones seeking medical attention, these issues tend to grow in severity. For people who feel uncomfortable discussing sexual health, even with their doctor, India’s National Population Stabilisation Fund (Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh) started a helpline for people to call for counselling. Aiming to remove misconceptions from the world about sexual health, the helpline provides objective and proper advice, so people no longer have to depend on word-of-mouth or old wives’ tales about sexual and reproductive health awareness.

All across the world, sexual health days for awareness are observed on different days during the year. The widespread popularity is because of a simple reason that sexual and reproductive health is a human right. With the right education and knowledge, it will become much easier to avoid STDs and STIs, instances of which are on the rise these days. Awareness and timely healthcare can go a long way in helping prevent several adverse outcomes.


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