This essay will attempt to discuss the importance of safer sex health education and the importance of health promotion in this area.

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This essay will attempt to discuss the importance of safer sex health education and the importance of health promotion in this area.

Over the last twenty years, two events have occurred which have shaped sexual health promotion and education, specifically, the emergence of the HIV epidemic and the change in social attitudes towards sexuality and sexual behavior (Irwin, 1997). These events are in turn reflected in an increasing emphasis on primary prevention (DOH, 1992). Health promotion and health education within this clinical area is a legitimate role for the health professional and is an essential nursing function (Ingram-Fogel, 1990).

In 1987 The World Health Organisation (WHO) discussed the issues of sexual health promotion and concluded that due to a wide range of individuals, cultures, social differences, sexuality and gender roles, there is no single definition of a sexually healthy individual. However, Curtis et al (1995) cites the WHO's (1986) description of sexual health state that,

"He or she needs a capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behaviour in accordance with a social and personal ethic.

Freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs and other physiological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationships.

Freedom from organic disorders, disease and deficiencies that interfere with sexual and reproductive functions ".

This definition appears to focus on the positive elements of a sexual being with an element of negativity surround "disorders and disease".

The author has recently completed a placement a Watford general hospital and was given the opportunity to visit the Genito-urinary medicine clinic and observe the nurses giving advice and treatments to patients and was able to gain a better understanding into the specific role that they perform.
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The department its self was well organised and very welcoming, the staff are approachable within a relaxed environment, it appeared to the author that the main reasons for attendance to the clinic was that the patients had exposed themselves to sexually transmitted infection (STI's) for example Chlamydia, Herpes simplex and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or concerns about exposure to organisms.

When clients attended the clinic they were fully assessed by the staff and the appropriate clinical tests carried out, the clients health education and health promotional needs were also assessed, the primary task is to establish ...

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It would have been helpful if the student provided some context to the topic, ie. what are the types of health promotion and which was used in the GM clinic? Perhaps the student could have provided some statistics on the rate of STDs before and after the emphasis on health promotion to further illustrate the important role health education/promotion plays. Nevertheless, a good piece of work that used the student