Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health in India: The Need to Focus

Bharti Mehta, Amandeep Kaur, Vijay Kumar, Sumit Chawla, Sneh Khatri, Manisha Malik

Abstract


Adolescence is a phase during which tremendous physical and psychological changes occur, along with changes in social perceptions and expectations. Some of the public health challenges for adolescents include pregnancy, excess risk of maternal and infant mortality, sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract infections, and the rapidly rising incidence of HIV in this age group. Thus it is important to influence the health-seeking behavior of adolescents as their situation will be central in determining India’s health, mortality and morbidity; and the population growth scenario. Investment in adolescent reproductive and sexual health will positively influence maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate reducing incidence of teenage pregnancy, meeting unmet contraceptive needs, reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reducing the proportion of HIV positive cases. The challenges in providing services for adolescent health is not providing newer technologies or interventions as they would not bring the adolescents in purview of health care but to make the ‘adolescent friendly health services’ more accessible, equitable, acceptable, appropriate, comprehensive, effective and efficient.

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