What is Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day?
Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day is an annual event held on the 12th of February. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about common sexual and reproductive health issues. The event was created to educate the general public on how to reduce* the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which are now very common. Fortunately, STIs are very curable but the problem is that many people are not even aware that they have it. Thus, it is important to learn the most common STIs including their signs and symptoms.
What You Need to Know about Sexually Transmitted Infections?
You are probably aware of HIV and AIDS, but there are many other STIs that are more common like chlamydia, crab lice, genital warts, gonorrhea, genital herpes, syphilis and trichomoniasis. The definition of an STI is an infection or disease that can be transmitted through sexual contact. It has nothing to do with the age, sexual orientation and hygiene of the person.
STIs are spread through any form of sex that includes vaginal, anal and oral. STI germs can live in the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, bumps and sores. Touching these through genital skin-to-skin contact can also spread the infection. Some STIs can be spread by sharing needles, tattooing and body piercing with unsterilized equipment.
Signs that You Might Have an STI
It is not easy to tell if someone has an STI. Many people with STIs don’t even have signs or symptoms. Here are the common symptoms of an STI:
- A burning sensation during urination or the need to urinate frequently.
- Sores, blisters or small bumps on the genital and anal area.
- Constant itching in the penis, vagina or anal areas.
- Having an unusual discharge or odor from the penis or vagina.
- Pain in the lower part of the abdomen.
- Pain in the testicles.
- Experiencing bleeding after intercourse or in between your periods.
- Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse.
What to Do if You Suspect that You Have an STI?
- Visit your physician or any walk-in clinic.
- Visit a sexual health clinic.
Even if the symptoms disappear, you may still be infected, so you need treatment in order to cure* the infection. If left untreated, the infection can lead to serious complications like sterility or PID. If you have an STI, it is imperative to get tested and treated immediately. Also, remember to contact all your sex partners and inform them that you have an STI so they can get treated as well.
Purpose of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day
The primary purpose of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day is to raise awareness of common sexual and reproductive health issues and educate the general public on how to reduce* the spread of STIs. It is also for informing the public that it is very important to get tested and receive the appropriate treatment if they suspect that they have an STI.
What Can You Do on Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day?
- Post or tweet about Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day using social media.
- Participate or organize a local FM radio program that spreads sexual health and reproductive health awareness. Talk about common STIs, their symptoms and the need for treatment.
- Feature a press article in your local or national newspaper with vital information on STIs and common sexual and reproductive issues.
- Create a local organization that aims to spread sexual and reproductive health awareness.
- Partner with leaders and other associated health figures to organize a seminar that provides relevant information on sexual and reproductive health.
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- Host a conference to talk about sexual and reproductive health.
- Host a seminar that talks about common sexual and reproductive health myths and misconceptions.
- Organize a fundraising event that supports sexual and reproductive health awareness.
- Write a letter to local or national government officials to focus more on sexual and reproductive health.
- Write a press release on the STI incidence in the country.
- Spread leaflets on how to avoid the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
Message of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day
There are much sexual and reproductive health issues that can affect anyone’s life. The most common of which is sexually transmitted infections. Prevention is the key, so it is important to learn how to prevent the spread of STIs. Once you already have an STI, you need immediate treatment since it can cause severe complications even when the signs and symptoms disappear. If you suspect that you have an STI, you need to consult your physician immediately to get a diagnosis and the proper treatment.