Sexual health is the integration of the physical, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual well-being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love. Sexual health includes not only the physical aspects of sexual development and reproductive health, but also valuing one’s own body, developing interpersonal skills to achieve meaningful relationships, interacting with others in a manner that reflects respect and equality and expressing love and intimacy, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. Sexual health encompasses the following areas of prevention: teen pregnancy prevention, STI/HIV prevention, sexual violence prevention, disparities related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) populations, and health disparities related to race, ethnicity, physical ability and socioeconomic status.
Equitable access to health care, education and economic opportunity establishes the foundation for every youth to succeed. In addition to comprehensive health information and skills, youth must have hopes and dreams for their future, have goals to work toward, and receive support and guidance from caring, trusted adults. All Colorado youth, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, gender, socioeconomic status and geographic location, deserve to make informed and responsible decisions about their health.
Sexual health is one aspect of a young person’s life that is intimately linked to overall health and wellness. How youth use information about sex and relationships impacts how they plan their educational and economic future, how they plan for a future with or without children, and how they communicate with their family, friends, and partners about what matters most to them.
We are excited to be sharing Youth Sexual Health in Colorado: A Call to Action with you! Click here for the document. We hope that it will serve as a resource for your work.
The Call to Action addresses youth and young adults (ages 9-24), families and communities across the state of Colorado and provides strategies for communities to improve the health of young people by:
The project team worked in partnership with young people and communities across Colorado, and conducted focus groups and community conversations in Pueblo, Boulder, Aurora, Glenwood Springs and Greeley in addition to a statewide community survey in which 52 Colorado counties were represented. Strategies are recommended for each of the settings that have influence over a young person’s life – policy and systems, community, family network and the individual. A sample action plan for communities is also provided.
Now that this document has been launched, our department is working to implement it by hosting launch events across the state, hosting training opportunities and giving technical assistance on how to use the document in individual communities.
Additional Call to Action Resources:
Please let us know what you think of the document and how you've been able to utilize it in your work by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 303-692-2492. We’d love to hear your feedback in order to further our work in Colorado.
- Fact sheets coming soon!
- CDC – Current HIV/STI Statistics
Resources for Parents
National and State Policy Considerations
Public Health Curriculum Considerations
- “My Life Colorado” – STI/HIV prevention
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment