lunedì 6 novembre 2006

Salute sessuale e riproduttiva

Sexual and reproductive health
The Lancet’s series on sexual and reproductive health published online on November 1, 2006, highlights the global burden of ill health in a variety of key areas: every year, 340 million new patients acquire gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, or trichomonas, more than 120 million couples have an unmet need for contraception, 80 million women have unintended pregnancies, and an estimated 19 million women undergo unsafe abortions; 70000 of them die as a result. As well as the series articles, the collection includes Comments and original research.

Sexual and Reproductive Health – a matter of life and death

The increasing influence of conservative political, religious, and cultural forces around the world threatens to undermine progress in sexual and reproductive health, according to the first paper in the Series. The greatest challenge to sexual-health promotion in almost all countries comes from opposition from conservative forces to harm-reduction strategies, such as supplying contraception to sexually active young people and providing safe, legal abortion services.

Sexual behaviour in context
The second paper in the Series presents the results of the first ever global survey of sexual behaviour. There are a number of findings that go against common beliefs, including the fact there has been no universal trend towards earlier sexual intercourse.

Family Planning: the Unfinished Agenda
Europe, rather than the US, should take the lead in revitalising global commitment to family planning, according to the third paper. The authors argue that family planning should have a higher priority than investment in HIV prevention and treatment in most poor countries, because population growth poses a greater threat to development.

Unsafe abortion: The Preventable Pandemic

When abortion is made legal, safe and easily accessible, women’s health rapidly improves, according to the fourth paper in the Series. An estimated 19 million unsafe abortions take place every year. Women should have access to safe, legal abortion services as a fundamental right, irrespective of where they live, state the authors.

Global control of sexually transmitted infections

While HIV prevention must remain a major public health priority globally, the control of other sexually transmitted infections must not be neglected, state the authors of the fifth paper in the Series.

Sexual and reproductive health for all – A call for action
Sexual and reproductive health for all is an achievable goal – if cost-effective interventions are properly scaled up; political commitment is revitalised; and financial resources are mobilised, rationally allocated, and more effectively used. The final paper in the Series represents a call to action and focuses on what needs to be done to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health services by 2015.

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