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condoms and world view part2 - 03/03/2013

Authorities in Europe strongly believe that their young citizens need to have the right tools that will arm them with the right and accurate information about sexual and reproductive health. Having the right information as well as skills and access to youth-friendly health services will help them make guided decisions. This is where sexual education comes into play. Programs on sexual education vary from one country to another. In Europe, sex education is not yet mandatory in every country. It is only mandatory in Estonia, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Norway. Fortunately, several guidelines have been formulated to help policy makers and other professionals in their efforts to promote sex education. SAFE Guideline One is part of The SAFE Project: A European partnership to promote sexual and reproductive health and the rights of young people. This guideline covers 26 European nations and presents their respective approach to and the challenges they face with regards to implementing sex education programs. A section of this guideline pointed to the positive effect that media attention on adverse sexual health issues and trends caused. This apparently led to a quick response from concerned authorities in different countries to improve their sex education programs. As an example, Ireland and France immediately raised awareness on the need for such education and agencies involved in sexual health and education were strengthened. The challenge being posed now is how to maintain and continue the advancement of sex education. Evidence on the low national commitments to providing this program has been noted and surprisingly, this is happening in countries experiencing lower rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In the Netherlands where sex education has been successful and teen conception rates are lower, agencies that have earlier provided funding were reported to have partially withdrawn their support or dismantling their agencies. The guideline also noted that in Europe, the average age of young people start having sex is 16. HIV incidence rate was highest in Luxembourg followed by Ireland and Belgium. WHO Guideline In October 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe released the first detailed guidelines aimed at helping public health officials in developing sex education curricula. Developed by some 20 experts from nine European countries, this guideline provided specific steps for health and education professionals to ensure that they present only accurate information about sexuality to young children. Specifically, the guideline puts emphasis on the fact that sexuality education should start at birth. It also pointed out certain skills that children and young people should obtain as well as the appropriate attitudes that need to be promoted at specific age periods. Sexually Transmitted Diseases In Northern Europe, Sweden has the highest rate of STDs with more than 2.1 million followed by Denmark at nearly 1.3 million and Finland with more than 1.2 million. In Central Europe, Hungary is leading with nearly 2.4 million followed by Austria and Switzerland. In Western Europe, the France has the highest incident rate at more than 14.4 million followed by U.K. and the Netherlands. Condoms remain to be the most popular contraceptive being used in the different parts of Europe

 

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