4 September 2017: Sexual health is fundamental to all people’s health and happiness. When we can enjoy good sexual health, it has a positive impact on many aspects of our lives including our reproductive health and well-being. This in turn has a positive impact on our societies and countries. On the occasion of World Sexual Health Day, WHO and HRP are launching a new WHO framework for operationalizing sexual health and its linkages to reproductive health. This new model highlights the many areas where people’s sexual health must be safeguarded throughout the course of their lives – as well as the way in which sexual health and reproductive health are at once distinct and inextricably linked.
Sexual health is influenced by a complex web of biological and social factors. It requires a positive, responsible approach to sexuality and sexual relationships as well as pleasurable, safe sexual experiences that are free from coercion, discrimination or violence.
The proposed indicators cover the following areas of sexual health: healthy sexuality, sexual dysfunction and sexual vulnerability, adolescent sexual health and sexual violence. The indicators range from process/activity (e.g. policy and services related) through outcome (e.g. behavior change) to impact indicators (e.g. prevalence of certain sexual health conditions in different populations).
In 2010, WHO convened an expert consultation on sexual health to make recommendations on strategic directions. One of the priorities was the development of sexuality counselling guidelines for health care providers. The guidelines would be used as a tool to facilitate the integration of counselling into health services, mainly in primary health care.