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    Gender, sexuality and harmful sexual practices.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Department of Reproductive Health and Research

    Progress in Reproductive Health Research. 2005; (67):6.

    In many parts of the world, certain sexual practices, such as dry sex, douching, and warming and stretching of the labia, are common. However, the epidemiological impact, and the social and cultural meanings of these practices, are not well understood. With the emergence of the HIV pandemic, there has been renewed interest in the role these practices might play in facilitating transmission of HIV, as well as in their potential impact on the effectiveness and acceptability of new products such as microbicides. In addition, it is increasingly recognized that such practices could also compromise the efficacy of some contraceptive methods. Recent studies of rituals associated with sexual initiation in sub-Saharan Africa indicate a greater prevalence of such practices than had previously been documented. However, there is a need for more in-depth research on sexual practices, to explore the full context of both belief and practice, particularly in the context of HIV. (excerpt)
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