Awareness on sexual health necessary: Experts

New Delhi: More awareness on sexual health can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among married women, a group of experts said Friday.

"Many women, not just in rural but even in urban areas, are not aware of sexual health or the test and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and reproductive tract infections (RTI)," said Ravi Verma, director, International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW).

ICRW along with various organisations conducted a three-year programme "Research and Intervention for Sexual Health: Theory to Action (RISHTA)" in a Mumbai slum where over 11,000 women were counselled on sexual health.

"We conducted the study in Mumbai as the migrant slum dwellers there run high risks of STD and RTI. Many had gynaecological problems like extensive vaginal discharge which was treated in a health clinic stationed in the slum," said Niranjan Saggurti, project director HIV AIDS section, Population Council.

"We also discussed use of condoms and also made men and women in the community feel comfortable about engaging in a healthy discussion on sex," Saggurti added.