We are sexual beings. That means we have sexual needs, desires, and challenges.
Sexual health month is a period that provides an opportunity for all of us to remember the importance of acting towards reducing unhealthy sexual behavior or risks and support everyone in maintaining or improving their sexual health. This aspect of life affects the general wellbeing of an individual, whether young or old, binary or non-binary.
When is sexual health month celebrated?
The month of September is sexual health awareness month. Every year people from different backgrounds celebrate sexual health, on 4th with joint campaigns, advocacy, and other sexual-related health promotional activities across the world. The idea is to expand conversations and resources around sexual health.
Why do we celebrate this month?
This celebration provides a platform for people to start breaking fears and taboos surrounding sexuality that often contributes to harmful sexual experiences. It allows people to appreciate the progress made towards sexual rights for all and build momentum for the better.
The focus ensures the critical aspects of the sexual life of an individual, like consenting, sexual expression, sexual identity, and sexual intimacy alongside other reproductive health needs are explored and individual sexual rights as human rights are protected. Although, one has to learn that, his/hers/they/them ability to achieve sexual health and well-being depends on one’s:
- Access to non-discriminatory, quality, and comprehensive information about sex and sexuality
- Access to quality sexual health care
- Access to HIV/ STIs and unplanned pregnancy prevention methods (i.e. condoms)
- Living in an environment that affirms and promotes sexual diversity
These are some of the issues that this month focuses on, in efforts to promoting pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.
This year’s theme
2021 marks the 11th year since the first celebration of sexual health month. It comes with an interesting theme: “Turn it on: Sexual health in a digital world”
Just like you, there’re many other individuals currently online on various digital platforms including social media where we have approximately 15million users in Kenya, many being young. Digital media is what Kenyans and the world is consuming today. With the growing tech and social places, sexual health information can be accessed on watches, iPad, desktops, mobile phones, and laptops.
The theme, turn in it on, calls for a rethinking of what sexual health entails and sexual rights in a digital world and how to combine technologies in people’s lives in a human rights approach, because social media and other digital platforms have become everyone’s place in which we spend many moments of our day-to-day.
What are your thoughts on sexual health month? Do we need it?