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Global Leaders Should Commit To Addressing Sexual, Reproductive Health Needs For Youth

The Guardian: ‘I didn’t know I could become pregnant after having sex for the first time’
Mary Wanjiku Mwangi, youth mentor for U-Tena

“…In many countries, contraception is only available to married couples and information about sexual health does not reach the young people who need it most. Often, social stigma, a lack of privacy, complicated logistics, and unfriendly government policies also present major barriers to accessing contraceptives. This is unacceptable. … We need government officials and international stakeholders to recognize that young people have a right to lead healthy and productive lives. We need leaders to prioritize access to youth-friendly programs that educate young people about the risks of pregnancy, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections. And we need to stop talking about contraception as a tool to plan families and start talking about what it really is: one of the most important future-planning tools young people have…” (11/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.