September is Sexual Health Awareness Month

sexual health awareness month

September 4th marked the Eighth Annual World Sexual Health Day. Part of Sexual Health Awareness Month, the theme for this year is Love, Bonding, and Intimacy. During Sexual Health Awareness Month, the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), is offering online resources, such as fact sheets, interviews, videos, and podcasts, to help people learn more about their sexual health

To better understand Sexual Health Awareness Month and its purpose, let’s take a look at some of the terms surround sexuality and sexual health.

What is Sexual Health?

Sexual Health. What does it really mean? Having safe sex? It goes far beyond that, actually. According to the ASHA, sexual health is “the ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our lives. It is an important part of our physical and emotional health.” Sexual health is being comfortable in your sexuality and your sexual life. It is taking care of your body and having open and honest conversations with your partner(s) about sex. We particularly like the World Health Organization’s description that sexual health “requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.”

At its core, sexual health is about the well-being, safety, rights, and freedom of the individual to choose what to do with their body, when they can do it, and how they can do it. It is about being free from discrimination and violence, and having your choices respected.

What is sexuality?

According to WHO, the working definition of sexuality is “sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles and relationships….Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious, and spiritual factors.”

What are sexual rights?

Sexual rights are directly related to basic human rights. According to WHO, “sexual health cannot be achieved and maintained without respect for, and protection of, certain human rights.” Some examples of sexual rights include: equality, privacy, freedom of opinion & expression, and freedom from torture.

Get Tested During Sexual Health Awareness Month

More than 1 million people are infected with an STI daily worldwide. Many STDs show no signs or symptoms, but may cause serious damage if let untreated. That’s why it’s so important to practice safe sex and pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you suspect you may have an STD, or if you’ve never been tested before, September is the perfect time to get tested. STD testing doesn’t have to be embarrassing or invasive. At besafemeds, we offer a discreet STD treatment option. Simply fill out our online diagnostic form and a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner will contact you to discuss a diagnosis and treatment options.

If you have any questions about STDs or your sexual health, visit our FAQs. And, if you’re worried you may have contracted an STD, contact besafemeds today!

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