Creating Supportive environments is one of the key areas that need special emphasis for healthpromotion. Supportive environments are occasionally referred to as supportive settings. Settings6
refer to environments where people live, learn, work and play, such as schools, hospitals,workplaces and cities. Supportive environments offer individuals protection from factors that can threaten goodhealth. They encourage participation in health and allow persons to expand their capabilities andself-reliance. This is critical for a person-centred approach to health. Community education andaction can help prevent the spread of STIs in many ways. Forming community groups for womenthat can develop creative ways to make condoms available, raise awareness about safer sex,empower women to negotiate for safer sex, reach out to younger women, and provide access toSTI testing and treatment, can reduce the number of STI cases being recorded. Creatingsupporting environments can include:Direct political action to create policies and regulations that promote STIs preventionProviding financial incentives or disincentives, for example, sponsoring Marathonevents for STDsAdvocacy designed to gain political commitment, social acceptance or policy change,for example, supporting community groups to advocate injustice for rape/ sexually abusedwomenproviding education and empowerment, and enabling communities and individuals totake control of their health and environment, for example, teaching people in communitiesabout STIs and methods of preventionThe community groups formed for women can also be very supportive of STI preventions byusing creative ways to motivate participation such as:Community mapping of sexual health resources and dangers7
A mapping activity is one way in which a group can discover and share information aboutsexual health resources in the community. The map can include places where condoms aredistributed, where STI testing is available, and where information about STIs is available.End stigma and harmful beliefs about STIsShame and stigma are major obstacles to preventing STIs. When women are made to feelashamed of their sexuality, it’s harder for them to ask their partners to use condoms or to try newand safer practices. Women who have sex with women also face stigma in the community.Although their lesbian sex practices are not usually a high risk for spreading STIs, if they areforced to hide their sexuality they would not have the opportunity to learn to limit their contactwith body fluids by using dental dams and other safer sex practices.8
DEVELOPING OR INCREASING PERSONAL HEALTH SKILLSUnderstanding what are Sexually Transmitted InfectionsHIV/AIDS- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a sexually transmitted retrovirusthat spreads through certain body fluids that attacks the CD4 cells, also called T cells, of thebody’s immune system. These T cells are special cells help the immune system fight offinfections. Over time, the HIV destroys many of these cells, leaving the host unprotected against
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- Spring '15
- Human Sexuality, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior