A friend of mine, Cindy, recently reminded me of an old but great quote that says, â€śWhat would you attempt to do if you knew you couldnâ€™t fail?â€ť In the past my answer would have been about different careers I would have pursued or instruments I would have learned to play, but Iâ€™m older now and my aspirations take me in different directions.
What would I attempt if I knew I couldnâ€™t fail? Since joiningÂ ASHA my answer has changed to be that I would â€¦find a way to make every adultÂ sexually healthy.
Throughout ASHAâ€™s history â€“ and especially during Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Awareness Month â€“ weâ€™ve focused on the â€śnuts and boltsâ€ť of education and prevention: STIs are at epidemic levels, you should use condoms, get tested, and so on.
Sexual health is a mixed bag, though: STIs are there, but emotional, social and cultural elements are also in the game. So is pleasure. They all overlap and each impacts the others. There is so much more to a good sexual health discussion than â€śwear a rubber and if you didnâ€™t, well, then everybody go pee in a cup and get a blood test.â€ť With that in mind, earlier this year ASHA launched new online and print resources that address these topics (and more) that are all a part of being healthy, happy, and sexually fulfilled. Letâ€™s look at a few key points.
For almost 100 years ASHA has been talking to you about sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs). In that time weâ€™ve helped millions learn how to protect themselves, talk to their partners and parents, know what to do if they have an STD/STI and much more. We have thousands of stories from people letting us know how helpful weâ€™ve been. Itâ€™s time to do more, though.
We believe that the answer is to start talking about sexual health. No, sexual health is not just about protecting yourself from an STD/STI, which is ASHAâ€™s history. STD/STIs are certainly a critical piece of the sexual health puzzle but being sexually healthy is about much more.
So to get us started, we asked you what you thought sexual health was and you answered.