National Sexual Health Week: “big progress” in risk prevention, information tools and dialogue

National Sexual Health Week: “big progress” in risk prevention, information tools and dialogue

Semaine nationale de la santé sexuelle : en parler et s’informer

Du 3 au 9 juin 2024 se tient la Semaine nationale dédiée à la santé sexuelle. L’objectif : parler ouvertement de la sexualité, chez les jeunes, les moins jeunes et au sein du couple.

The sexologist doctor, Damien Mascret, reminds us that today, "more than ever, the notion of communication in the couple is developing for the benefit of a more direct exchange on tastes and desires in terms of sexual practices".

What is sexual health ? There is a simple definition, according to the WHO: it is &quot ;a state of physical, emotional, mental well-being, associated with sexuality". It is therefore a global approach to sexuality, which goes well beyond health aspects and thus involves questions of respect for oneself and others, pleasure and/or procreation.

The advent of "positive sexuality", the opinion of the sexologist

"Among young people, strongly imbued with porn scripts, the discovery of different practices is now happening at an accelerated pace, points out Dr Mascret, but we should not believe that emphasizing the importance of consent has resolved the tension between ‘sex’ and ‘feelings of love’. Fortunately, young people, especially girls, now have plenty of content that develops positive sexuality, without injunctions, based on consent and benevolence."

More than ever, "the notion of communication within the couple is developing for the benefit of a more direct exchange on tastes and desires in terms of practices sexual, he analyzes. Studies show that couples who have lived together for more than ten years and who communicate a lot and easily about their sexuality between partners also have happier lives.&quot ;

Moreover, many seniors are now more demanding about the quality of their sex life, while being more indulgent with themselves. Thus, "the model of sexuality ‘performance’ moves away, assures the sexologist. The desire for experimentation (sex toys, porn, lingerie, experimentation with BDSM for Bondage-Domination/Submission-Sado-Masochism, sex with others, realization of fantasies…) is not enough< /em>." We must also identify the points of friction in the cycle of desire. Talking about it with a sexologist is always interesting.

"For all, he advises, the discovery of sexuality without penetration is often the occasion for a true renewal of sexuality."

Talk, find out about sexual health

This last decade, we have made great progress in terms of risk prevention and information and dialogue tools. The Public Health France institutional website provides precise and reliable information on all topics related to sexual health.

Because good sexual health involves a respectful approach to sexuality in the absence of discrimination and violence, as well as access to means of contraception and STI testing, the Ministry of Health and Prevention has also created a series of measures for the general public, and particularly for the youngest. Here are which ones.

Contraception, long sexual health consultation and condoms… 100% covered for those under 26

– Since January 1, 2022, all means of contraception reimbursed by Health Insurance are 100% covered for young women under 26 years old (1st or 2nd generation hormonal pills, hormonal contraceptive implant, intrauterine device, doctor or midwife consultations, examinations or medical procedures related to contraception). This represents almost 3 million people.

– The long-term sexual health consultation is 100% covered without any advance payment. All persons under the age of 26 are concerned.

Find a sexual health center (formerly family planning and education centers – CPEF) near you: here.

emergency contraception is available with no age limit. It is available in pharmacies without a prescription and is 100% covered by Health Insurance (since January 1, 2023). Everything you need to know about emergency contraception: here.

condoms are prescription-free and 100% covered by health insurance for those under 26. More than 19 million condoms have already been reimbursed for this age group since the system was introduced on January 1, 2023. Eight brands are now reimbursable (compared to 2 in June 2023).

To find out more: "Access to contraception without upfront costs for those under 26" on the Ameli website of the Health Insurance.

HIV screening is now available without a prescription directly in a medical biology laboratory and is 100% covered. Other STIs should follow.

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