International program launched to fight HIV and improve sexual health
The purpose is to better equip young people who live in low and middle-income nations to make better decisions about their sexual partners and whether to have children. The program also includes combative strategies against HIV in high-risk groups.
“Everyone has the right to be able to make choices about their sexuality and have a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth,” Lillian Ploumen, foreign trade and development minister, said. “But unfortunately there are many places in the world where this can’t be taken for granted. Even now, almost 300,000 women a year die unnecessarily during pregnancy and childbirth. Every 14 seconds someone becomes infected by HIV and millions of young people barely have access to sex education. It is very difficult to get condoms if you are not married, especially for young people. This has to change.”
To make the program a success, Ploumen is fostering relationships with seven alliances of Dutch development organizations as well as five international organizations, all of which support sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
“Organizations like these have played a key role in raising awareness of taboo subjects like homosexuality, drugs and sex work,” Ploumen said. “I want to use their expertise to influence policy in low and middle income countries and promote good services to give people the chance of a better existence.”