Promoción de la salud sexual Recomendaciones para la acción

Con miras a enriquecer y mejorar los esfuerzos anteriores, la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (), conjuntamente con la Asociación Mundial de Sexología (WAS), convocó una consulta regional para reevaluar estrategias de promoción de la , incluyendo, el papel del sector salud en la consecución y mantenimiento de la . El presente documento es el fruto de dicha reunión de consulta, efectuada en Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, del 19 al 22 de mayo de 2000.

Las inquietudes y los problemas relacionados con la salud sexual repercuten en diversas ramas de la actividad humana tanto en el plano personal como social. Por ejemplo, la propagación del , principalmente por medio del contacto sexual sin protección, ha resultado en unos 35 millones de personas infectadas y en más de 19 millones de decesos en todo el mundo desde el comienzo de la epidemia. Las comunidades en general padecen los efectos de la pandemia del  toda vez que existen cerca de 13 millones de niños y jóvenes huérfanos a raíz de la muerte de uno de sus padres, o de ambos, por causa del VIH. Por otra parte, según cálculos de la OPS, en la Región de las Américas hay 2,5 millones de personas infectadas por el VIH.

La pandemia del VIH/SIDA ha puesto de relieve la extrema gravedad de las infecciones de transmisión sexual. Cada año, muere un millón de personas como resultado de las infecciones del aparato reproductor, tales como las infecciones de transmisión sexual () distintas del VIH/SIDA. Se ha calculado que es posible que cada año ocurran en el mundo 333 millones de casos nuevos de infecciones de transmisión sexual.

Un comportamiento sexual responsable se expresa a nivel individual, interpersonal y comunitario. Este se caracteriza por autonomía, honestidad, respeto, consentimiento, protección, búsqueda del placer y bienestar. La persona cuyo comportamiento sexual es responsable no se propone hacer daño, y se abstiene de explotación, acoso, manipulación y discriminación. Una comunidad promueve comportamientos sexuales responsables al suministrar conocimiento, recursos y derechos que las personas necesitan para adoptar estas prácticas.

Más recientemente, se ha hecho evidente que los esfuerzos para reducir y controlar el VIH/SIDA podrían ser más eficaces si las acciones estuviesen vinculadas a un enfoque más amplio de control y  de las infecciones de transmisión sexual, las cuáles por si mismas además de representar una amenaza significativa a la salud, aumentan el riesgo de transmisión del VIH/SIDA. Esta amenaza ha creado un nuevo tipo de profesional de salud que trabaja en la planificación y la ejecución de programas con este centro de interés.

El hecho de que estas infecciones se transmitan por medio de la actividad sexual hace indispensable que los profesionales que trabajan en su prevención y control tengan suficiente capacitación en salud sexual, especialmente en la forma como se concibe en este documento, donde todos los aspectos de la  humana se toman en cuenta.

Los profesionales que se especializan en programas de prevención y control de las ITS y del VIH/SIDA deberían recibir capacitación en salud sexual que les aporte una visión integrada de los factores determinantes del comportamiento sexual humano. Como en los otros casos, deberían diseñarse programas especiales para adaptarse a las necesidades concretas del país o región.

El logro de la salud sexual es una prioridad en todas las sociedades. A fin de alcanzar una salud integral, es imperativo promover y mantener la salud sexual. Un nuevo énfasis en la prevención y cuidado de las inquietudes y problemas sexuales reforzaría los grandes logros alcanzados en la Región de las Américas en muchos campos de la atención de salud. En particular, se han desplegado esfuerzos significativos en el sector de la salud reproductiva y la prevención y control del VIH/SIDA. El grupo de expertos acordó que el objetivo fundamental del mejoramiento de la salud podría alcanzarse de una manera más eficaz si se adoptara un enfoque más amplio de la sexualidad tal como la conceptualización propuesta en el presente documento.


Fuente: PAHO

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