Why sexual health is important
By sexual health, we mean healthy, safe and enjoyable sexual health experiences which are free from coercion*, discrimination and violence. Sexual health is essentially learning about yourself and finding out about your sexual needs. This applies to everyone, whether you are Asexual, Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Heterosexual (Straight) or Transgender. Sexual health is fundamental for the health and well-being of individuals, families, couples, and communities but it is an important part of our lives that is often ignored.
*coercion means to persuade someone to do something by using force, threats, pressure, or intimidation.
What is sexual health?
The term 'sexual health’ covers a broad range of topics including Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), contraception, reproductive health, intimacy and relationships. However, most importantly, sexual health is about learning your body; finding out what is good for you, giving yourself time to figure out your sexual orientation and what kind of person you find yourself attracted to, learning about your needs and desires and understanding how negative experiences can affect your sexual health.
For many, discussing sexual health with others or accessing sexual health support can be shameful or embarrassing. That’s because of the stigma associated with it, which continues to be the main barrier to addressing sexual health issues timely and appropriately.
At Newham, we support the World Health Organisation (WHO) to encourage everyone to view sexual health affirmatively, with a positive approach to sexuality and relationships.
This positive sexual health attitude requires a respectful approach and should include:
Together with our Sexual Health Service providers, we are committed to offering our residents with the best possible sexual health prevention and care. Newham’s Sexual Health Services covers a broad spectrum of care including:
Our services are free and confidential and available for all regardless of age, gender, ethnic background or sexual orientation.
Although Covid-19 and later Monkeypox had a significant impact on our sexual health services and changed sexual health service provision, we are committed to reducing sexual health-related health inequalities in our borough.