Introduction

Health promotion is an essential aspect of the role of all health and social care professionals engaged in sexual health work. The vital nature of sexual health promotion is highlighted by the fact that the unintentional consequences of sexual health behaviour are almost always preventable; for example, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unintended pregnancy. However, the promotion of sexual health has a broader role in helping individuals achieve good health and well-being. This chapter aims to provide a theoretical framework to help clarify the purpose of interventions designed to improve the health of clients accessing sexual health services. While the emphasis of the chapter will be on sexual health promotion, it is important to recognise that those involved in sexual health work are often in a prime position to engage in other health-promotion activities covering a wide range of topics, including healthy eating, smoking cessation, drugs and alcohol and assertiveness skills, some of which are inextricably linked with sexual health behaviour. Format of chapter:

  • Defining what we mean by health and sexual health
  • Defining what we mean by health promotion and its relationship with public health
  • Sexual health promotion strategies
  • Challenges to sexual health promotion.
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