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April 28-29, 2010, Eli Coleman, PhD, participated in a technical consultation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on "Promoting a Public Health Approach to Sexual Health in the United States." This effort will help to articulate the initiatives for a national strategy to advance sexual health and revitalize the goals and guidelines from The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior released in 2001 by Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD.
Coleman said, "It has been almost 10 years since the US Surgeon General released this Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior. Since then, our nation has faced a myriad of interconnecting sexual health problems and we have lacked a comprehensive national strategy to promote sexual health. I applaud the CDC for re-activating Dr. Satcher's vision of a sexually healthier society and developing strategies to meet that goal."
The CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) launched the initiative in recognition that sexual health is an essential component of overall individual health, that individual sexual health has a major impact on the health of communities, and that a national dialogue is critical in improving population health. The group will work to identify initiatives aimed at implementing a public health approach to promote age-appropriate sexual health. One that is consistent with the best available science, including healthy, respectful, and responsible sexual behavior, for all Americans over their lives.
Consultants have been challenged to identify actions around six goals including:
1. Increase healthy, responsible, and respectful sexual behaviors and attitudes.
2. Increase the ability and awareness to make healthy and responsible choices, free of coercion.
3. Promote healthy sexuality, healthy sexual functioning, healthy relationships, and respectful sexual rights for all persons throughout the life span.
4. Optimize and educate about reproductive health choices.
5. Increase access to effective preventive, screening, treatment, and support services that promote sexual health.
6. Decrease adverse individual and public health outcomes including HIV/STDs, viral hepatitis, unintended pregnancies, and sexual violence.
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