https://dfid.blog.gov.uk/2009/04/09/sexuality-and-sexual-health-we-must-do-more/

Sexuality and sexual health – we must do more

Friends in the NGO community here in Mozambique have been applauding the recent statement by Margaret J. Pollack, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State, in the US delegation statement to the United Nations Commission on Population and Development.

Acknowledging that only 5 years remain in both the ICPD and Millennium Development Goal timeframes, she has highlighted the urgency of providing comprehensive, accurate information and education on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health to women, men, girls and boys. Having the US government back this issue is vitally important to successful progress towards targets over coming years.

DFID has been heavily engaged in promoting sexual health for a number of years. At the DFID health adviser conference in Brighton, which I have mentioned in a previous blog, a group of researchers funded by DFID gave presentations. I was particularly struck by the importance of the work being done by the Microbicides Development Programme (MDP), run by the Medical Research Council – as one arm of the research is taking place in Mozambique.

Precious Lunga of the Microbicide Development Programme
Precious Lunga of the Microbicide Development Programme

I’ve a picture here of Precious Lunga in front of her poster presentation on the MDP programme. I had recently read and article on the practice of ‘dry sex’ in Mozambique. I was intrigued to know whether the development of microbicide gel, which is currently being researched as a potential way of reducing the risk of HIV transmission, but which also increases lubrication, was accepted in dry sex cultures.  Trials are still underway to determine whether condoms plus microbicide gel reduce the risk of HIV transmission over and above condom use alone. An information note, by Joyce Wood, handed out at the meeting and called ‘Building Capacity, Improving Lives: Collateral Benefits of the Microbicide Development Programme’, explains this further. It may well be that gel, whether or not it has effective microbicide action, could reduce the harmful practice of dry sex. What we eagerly await now is the conclusion of the research to discover whether gel also brings about reduced disease transmission.

1 comment

  1. colin L Beadon

    Nobody wants to face the number one problem.

    I notice my last comment was not published, though my first one was.

    How can us humans expect to feed everybody, give everybody an equal chance, prevent poverty, stop global warming and pollution, IF, the world population is growing at such an alarming rate?
    It is obvious we don’t seem to appreciate the Earth is finite, and that humans require the use of a huge amount of energy, mostly carbon derived, in order to reach their goals of giving equal opportunity and enough food and water for all.
    Already we are squeezing out the biodiversity, the flora and fauna, by our ravinous attempts.
    I don’t really see anything on DFID that gives any hope addressing the prime problem. Population control. The BBC today 20th October 2009, pointed out the problem in Ethiopia, which is much the same problem in many other places in the world. Population explosion, and the inability to stay the hand of starvation for millions,……. right now!
    As I said in my second comment you did not print. Perhaps I should not write here, as people really don’t want to hear or appreciate the very basic problem we face.
    Sincerely, Colin L Beadon.

    Reply

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