Reproductive and Sexual Health Among Young Adults in Uzbekistan

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Abstract

Since 1991, contraceptive use has risen significantly in Uzbekistan while reliance on abortion has declined; yet reproductive health improvements have not translated into better conditions for sexual health. The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases increased significantly in the 1990s, and UN AIDS currently identifies the Central Asian region as a high HIV-growth zone. Structural, institutional, and attitudinal factors have contributed to the disconnection between reproductive and sexual health in Uzbekistan, even though family planning programs have been well established during the HIV pandemic. Integrating state statistics, Demographic and Health Survey data, and focus-group-discussion results, we highlight the ways in which a heavily centralized program focusing on reproductive health did little to better sexual health, especially among young adults. The example of Uzbekistan reveals pathways by which reproductive health efforts may continue to be compartmentalized, decreasing their potential contributions to sexual health, especially among young adults.

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