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UNFPA supports an approach to reproductive and sexual health which is gender and rights-based.

Investing in reproductive health can save and improve lives, slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and encourage gender equality. These achievements, in turn, can help to stabilize population growth and reduce poverty.

The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) set the challenge of ensuring that quality reproductive health services are universally available.

Because reproductive health is a concern for women and men of all ages, UNFPA supports programmes that are tailored to the specific challenges people may face at different stages of their life cycle.

UNFPA works to make reproductive rights a reality by supporting family planning services. It also helps to ensure the quality of these services by providing technical support, equipment and training for health care providers.

The gender perspective is an essential element in efforts to improve reproductive health. A key part of UNFPA's work is involving men and supporting services that can make them healthier and more responsible sexual partners.

Preventing and treating sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is an important part of UNFPA's work. Across the world, around 340 million new cases of curable (STIs) occur every year, including gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. STIs constitute a significant health burden and are linked to the transmission of HIV. Prevention of HIV/AIDS is also an urgent priority for UNFPA. Very much related to the power relationships established in families and communities, UNFPA also promotes projects which encourage behavior change, advocacy, education and the empowerment of women. 


Supporting Reproductive Health in Türkiye and the South Caucasus

Both in Türkiye and South Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, there are risks to reproductive health, with a rise in the number of cases of sexually transmitted infections and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In all four countries, unemployment has led to a trend of migration from the countryside to towns and cities and abroad including in high-risk HIV/AIDS countries such as Russia.

These patterns can exacerbate the spread of STIs if migrant workers have unprotected sex and then return to their families.

It is essential in all these four countries to improve the quality of data on population and reproductive health issues. With its worldwide experience of gathering data for development, UNFPA has been helping the governments in Türkiye, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to conduct, analyze and disseminate the results of key censuses and surveys.

With new levels of personal and sexual freedom, young people and adolescents in all four countries across the region have particular needs for access to information about reproductive health and youth-friendly services. In all four countries, UNFPA's peer education programme is proving a particularly effective way of giving young people the accurate information they need to protect their reproductive health and rights.

The gender perspective is vital in improving reproductive health across the region. UNFPA is supporting efforts to empower women in Türkiye, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in order to help them get the reproductive health and rights they need.

In rural or more traditional communities of all four countries, there has been evidence of families who are having economic problems and seeking early marriages for their daughters, a practice which brings a number of complications. UNFPA is also aware of the need to involve men across the region in reproductive health.

In all its work on sexual and reproductive health in the region, UNFPA is very careful to take into account the cultural sensitivities and traditions which are unique to individual countries and communities so as to ensure maximum public support and participation in the programmes which it supports.

In all four countries, UNFPA is working together with governments, NGOs and civil society to improve emergency obstetric care, provide quality reproductive health services and increase public awareness of reproductive health issues so that men, women and young people across the region can lead healthier, safer lives.