At Any Age

Media Release Submitted by Bill Eekhof

While Valentine’s Day may come only once a year, the Health Unit is sending a message of love it hopes will resonate with people all the time.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit encourages local residents to look after their sexual health and well-being throughout their lives. That’s the theme of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (www.srhweek.ca), which runs February 11-15 and focuses on the importance of ‘sexual health at all ages.’

“At any age or stage of life, we need to look after our sexual health since it is important for overall well-being,” says Jennifer Kurpjuweit, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Big or small, old or new and at every age in between, our sexual health matters.”

Promoting and supporting sexual health takes different forms at different ages:

  • For babies and children, it is important to teach – in an age-appropriate way – that sexuality is a natural, normal and healthy part of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. “We need to move away from a one-time, awkward conversation about the birds and the bees with children and instead normalize talking about gender and sexuality as they grow up,” Kurpjuweit says.

  • For teens, healthy sexual development includes talking about puberty and bodily changes, making safe and appropriate choices about sex, and providing the information they need to build healthy, lasting and respectful relationships.

  • As adults, sexual health involves more than just deciding whether to have children or not. “Sexual health also means taking care of our reproductive health, reducing our risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections, and addressing sexual dysfunction, pain and other concerns we may have about sex,” Kurpjuweit says. “Building and nurturing a healthy relationship can also increase sexual satisfaction and help support overall well-being.”

  • As people get older, nurturing their sexual selves and sexual health continues to be an important aspect of overall health. “But it’s not just about sex,” Kurpjuweit notes. “Sexuality can also involve intimacy, touch and love.”

The Health Unit provides many programs to support sexual and reproductive health in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The Health Unit can help couples who are planning to start a family or who are preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Confidential sexual health information, counselling and clinical services are also offered at Sexual Health Clinics in the area. To learn more, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1205, visit www.hkpr.on.ca, email info@hkpr.on.ca or text (705) 878-2723.