Sexual Intervention – WHO Guide With Big Problems

Practicing self-care (even the kind that involves sexual intervention) might sound like something just off the wellness boat, but it’s not something that’s popped up just because of mindfulness or various health fads that come and go.

In fact, people have practiced self-care around the world and for thousands of years. The position of “doctor” wasn’t always a thing. Communities big and small had to learn how to take care of themselves. This included things like making medicine, ways to maintain health, and preventing diseases.

And with the earth-shaking changes that COVID brought, the WHO is peeking its head out of its digital cubical and reminding the world that we need to get back to basics. This includes things like contraceptives and STI checks.

THE NEW WHO GUIDELINES


The first thing to remember is that this entire thing is being labeled as a “living guideline.” This is just a fancy way of saying that things will change as research brings about new ideas – and those ideas have to be reviewed.

Still, even with ever-changing guidelines, it’s still a better resource than some countries are coping with. This is even more important when you consider that some people’s primary care might be closed off without notice depending on random COVID rules.

The WHO Deputy Director-General, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said, “Further data and rigorous research continues to be needed to ensure a strong, evidence base to promote the introduction, use and scale-up of self-care interventions.”

WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES EXACLTY?


It’s a combination of old and new self-care recommendations *copied directly from the WHO site…

  • Over-the counter pharmacy provision of pregnancy self-tests
  • pharmacy access to emergency contraception
  • availability of lubrication to help individuals improve their sexual health and pleasure
  • Self-management of iron and folic acid supplementation being made available as an option during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postnatal periods
  • self-monitoring of blood glucose during pregnancy
  • self-monitoring of blood pressure during pregnancy

After these examples, the document goes on to say that all the recommendations need to come with…

1. Human rights and gender equality *

2. Financial considerations (and economic)

3. Training of key workers/professions

4. Different considerations for different populations

5. Digital health interventions

6. Considerations of an environmental nature.

* Reproductive rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus documents. These rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. It also includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents ([32], paragraph 7.3).”

A COUPLE BIG PROBLEMS


Person Getting His Blood Check
Credit: Pexels

There were also interesting paragraphs dedicated to holistic and life-course approaches. However, two highlights were surprising – “self-sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) to improve cervical cancer screening, to self-administration of injectable contraception.”

These two ideas, especially the second one, are key to sexual activity.

However…

With these international guidelines, what does it mean for governments who dictate a different message? Sexual self-care (or even general self-wellness) is a great thing, but what if it puts you into bankruptcy?

For example, the US is notorious for its poor healthcare system. Families are rationing off things like cancer medications and diabetes injections. These are vital for survival and already priced to a point where they are unaffordable – unless you’re lucky enough to have a job that gives great health insurance.

What would self HPV kits and self-injection contraceptives cost?

And what about each state’s rules on sex – from gender reassignment to birth control availability? The WHO can suggest all it wants, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s going to take action.

Then, there is the fact that some areas of developing countries don’t have the infrastructure to get any of these self-care avenues (even with the economic and population considerations the WHO mentioned before). And let’s not even touch the “rumor” that they get all the expired meds so big pharma can make an extra buck.


SEXUAL INTERVENTION CONCLUSIONS


And while this isn’t meant to come across as a nutty conspiracy theory, we can’t ignore the fact that all this sexual intervention (especially the sexual-health kind) is like slapping a bandage on a broken leg. In the end, will it really make a difference?

What do you think?

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