6 February 2015
For immediate release
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, in partnership with the Canadian Public Health Association, is taking the lead on this year’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (SRH Week). The annual campaign has been led by one of three organizations amalgamated into Action Canada, the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health, around February 12th (Sexual and Reproductive Health Day) since 2003.
This year’s campaign will take place from February 9th to 13th and builds on the 2013 and 2014 theme Heart Your Parts. It will also see the launch of a new online sexual health https://www.ourhealthissues.com information hub. The hub www.srhweek.ca includes information that ranges from preventing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections to consent and caring for yourself and your relationships, among other sexual health related topics.
The information hub is timely given recent media attention and public discussions around sexual consent and the steady rise in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis since the late 1990s. From 2001 to 2011 reported syphilis rates in Canada increased by over 450%. The Public Health Agency of Canada also estimates that 71,300 Canadians were living with HIV infection (including AIDS) in 2011, an 11.4% increase from the 2008 estimate of 64,000. Access to up-to-date and comprehensive information on sexual health and STI prevention are an important component of HIV prevention, and, more generally, in the promotion of community health and well-being.
The “SRH Week campaign is about facing reality. We know that issues like consent and rising STI rates need to be part of the conversation when it comes to health,” said Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “Information is a powerful tool and promoting sexual and reproductive health through Heart Your Parts and the new website can have a big impact,” he added.
In addition to the social media campaign, website and distribution of posters, this year’s SRH Week will include events held across Canada. Among them, Options for Sexual Health British Columbia (Opt BC) will host an SRH Day breakfast with keynote speaker Heather Corinna; the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County (Nova Scotia) will participate in a community event to discuss consent with Amherst high school students; and the Sexuality Education Resource Centre (Winnipeg) will host a workshop for teachers and education staff on making safer sex education fun.
“CPHA is pleased to be working in partnership with Action Canada on this year’s SRH Week campaign Heart your Parts,” said Ian Culbert, Executive Director of the Canadian Public Health Association. “Providing individuals with access to reliable and accurate information about sexual health is vital to STI prevention efforts and allows consumers to make informed choices about their health,” he added.
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CONTACT: Ani Colekessian [email protected] +1 613 241 4474 x7
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is a progressive, pro-choice charitable organization committed to advancing and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally. For more information visit www.actioncanadashr.org
The Canadian Public Health Association is the national, independent, not-for-profit, voluntary association representing public health in Canada. CPHA’s members believe in universal and equitable access to the basic conditions which are necessary to achieve health for all Canadians. For more information visit www.cpha.ca