The Truth is Powerful

Improving sexual health care practices around the world

In almost all cultures, seeking care for sexual health concerns can be an awkward, complex, and vulnerable experience. A key to making such care easier and more comfortable is properly training providers to compassionately and effectively deliver high-quality, medically accurate treatment, no matter where they live.

University of Minnesota researchers recently launched a collaboration to train healthcare students in socially conservative Tanzania on the best ways to treat sexual health. Tanzania has some of the highest rates of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, sexual violence, and early pregnancy in the world.

“The University of Minnesota is a world leader in providing sexual health training to health students. But it’s important to recognize that you can’t just take a curriculum that was originally designed for medical students in Minnesota and expect it to work in East Africa,” says Simon Rosser, School of Public Health professor and principal investigator. “To be maximally effective, we needed to first understand the sexual health cultural practices, challenges, and priorities in Tanzania.”

Working with a team from Tanzania, the researchers surveyed and interviewed 121 midwifery, nursing, and medical students and professionals participating in 18 focus groups. In addition, the team conducted individual interviews with local experts—including community, religious, cultural, […]

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