According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), “good sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system. It implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.”
SRH includes equal access to accurate SRH information and high-quality, affordable SRH products and services for men, women and other gendered groups, as well as autonomy in sexual and reproductive decision making.
Globally, men’s use of SRH products and services is significantly less than women’s use. In 2013, the modern method contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) was 56 percent in lower middle income countries, with male methods (such as male condoms and vasectomy) accounting for only 8 percent of the CPR (6.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively). In the least developed counties, where the modern method CPR was 30 percent, male methods account for only 3 percent (male condoms 2.7 percent and vasectomy 0.7 percent). In a study of 29 countries in Africa, the median national uptake of HIV testing services was 28.8 percent for women and 17.2 percent for men, according to the World Contraception Patterns study of 2013.
Multiple barriers prevent a man’s use of SRH products and services, including a lack of awareness or knowledge about services, access to services, beliefs and misinformation surrounding SRH products and services for men, and gender roles and norms (including social norms around men’s fertility and roles and responsibilities for reproduction and family planning).
While most SRH products and services focus on women as the end-users, a growing number of SRH products and services are now available that are designed to provide men with the ability to space or limit pregnancies, prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs), prevent and treat HIV and improve their sexual health.
The Health COMpass’ latest trending topic is designed to be used in coordination with the Male SRH Guide and offers tools and project examples focusing on five of these products and services: male condoms, vasectomy, VMMC, HTC and STI testing and treatment.
Visit: Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health Products and Services for Men on the Health COMpass.