Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness day is celebrated on February 12 every year to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health issues and reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
It was initiated by the Public Health Agency of Canada and is observed mainly in Canada, but some other countries including India also observe it.
Health awareness events create publicity for health issues and aim to improve the condition and help save lives, sometimes these events encourage preventative action against conditions becoming more serious.
To maintain one’s sexual and reproductive health, people need access to accurate information and the safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception method of their choice. They must be informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, HIV/ AIDS, unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
Sexual health is a broad area that encompasses many inter-related challenges and problems. Key issues and concerns are human rights related to sexual health, sexual pleasure, eroticism and sexual satisfaction, diseases (HIV/AIDS, STIs, RTIs), violence, female genital mutilation, sexual dysfunction and mental health-related to sexual health.
In India, discussing sexual wellness and reproductive health issues openly is considered taboo, due to which many health issues go unnoticed for years. The celebration of this day aims to make this subject a much more comfortable topic to discuss.
The National Population Stabilisation Fund (Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh) has started a helpline to provide confidential counselling services and immediate answers to queries on sexual and reproductive health problems. For authentic telephonic information on Reproductive Health, Family Planning and Infant Health, Call 1800-11-6555.
Main Objectives of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day:
Educate about issues related to sexual health and reproduction such as sexually transmitted diseases, infertility, puberty and menopause, unsafe abortion and birth control.
Advocating the practice of safe sex
Create awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention
Educate women about birth control and family planning
(with sources inputs)