Community Health Workers and Sexual and Reproductive Health

Through MHP Salud’s Life Stages initiative, Community Health workers provide critical education about sexual health and strategies for reducing the risk of STI transmission, unplanned teen pregnancy, and risky sexual behaviors in adolescents.

Community Health Workers and Sexual and Reproductive Health

The CDC estimates that there are 20 million new various types of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) every year in the United States. Of these new infections, half is attributable to young people aged 15-24. MSMs (men who have sex with men) also have higher rates of STIs than the rest of the population.1 Left untreated, STIs can cause an increased risk of getting HIV, long-term abdominal/pelvic pain, and difficulty getting pregnant.2 Through MHP Salud’s Life Stages initiative, Community Health workers provide critical education about sexual health and strategies for reducing the risk of STI transmission.

Unplanned teenage pregnancy comes at a high price. The consequences of teenage pregnancy affect both the mother and the subsequent generation. Only 50% of teen mothers end up receiving a high school diploma by age 22, compared to 90% of teenage girls who do not have children. Children born to adolescent parents are more likely to have health, behavioral, and educational problems throughout their life compared to peers born to older parents.4 MHP Salud’s Community Health Workers have a wide range of experience working inside Latino communities, providing education to help prevent unplanned teenage pregnancy.

There are 20 million new infections of the various types of STIs every year in the United States, half of which is attributed to young people.

Only 50% of teen mothers end up receiving a high school diploma by age 22, compared to 90% of teenage girls who do not have children.

There are many factors that influence the risks that youth will take. One of the greatest determinants in an adolescent’s decision to engage in risky sexual behavior or to use contraception are the attitudes and behaviors of their peers. Therefore, youth require a sexual risk avoidance program that considers the importance of these relationships. This is encouraged by providing programs in a youth-only atmosphere and led by a trained CHW who is trusted by the participants and understands how sex and risky behaviors are discussed – or not – within the youth’s families and communities. Youth will feel more comfortable engaging and asking questions, therefore indicating to their peers that they share similar concerns or beliefs.

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/infographic.htm
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy, https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm. Accessed 6/4/2018.

Want more information on this initiative? Please contact us at info@mhpsalud.org

MHP Salud brand logo

About MHP Salud 

MHP Salud has over thirty years of experience implementing CHW programs and training organizations looking to start and/or strengthen their own CHW programs. For more information about MHP Salud, our services, and how we can help you, please email us at info@mhpsalud.org

How MHP Salud Can Help You