AWARENESS ABOUT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH IN ADOLESCENTS AND YOUTH: A REVIEW
Reproductive health is a relatively new concept that recognizes that especially a young girl has special reproductive health needs before, during and beyond the childbearing age. It also lays emphasis on the fact that health (more importantly reproductive health) of the present generation has an everlasting effect on the overall health of the next generation and that both are of crucial importance for socio-economic development. Reproductive health need of young people especially for young girls and women includes needs for reproductive health care, family planning, HIV/AIDS information, safer sex, unwanted pregnancy, early pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), safe abortion and safe motherhood. Recently a number of programs for school going adolescent in India have focused on information, education, and communication with a limited focus on the provision of clinical and counseling services on reproductive health. Educational programs can increase awareness about reproductive health but this awareness may not always translate into appropriate help-seeking behavior by adolescents. The limited knowledge about reproductive health issues makes young girls vulnerable to various diseases and infections including HIV/AIDS/STDs, substance abuse, sexual violence, and exploitation. In this paper, we would briefly focus on various aspects of reproductive health.
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