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Oct 20, 2023 | Miss Malini | HIV
www.netreach.co.in, is a new website which now lets you book appointments for Sexual Health support anywhere in India. It helps users get support for a range of testing and treatment options for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV.
The Humsafar Trust (HST), India’s oldest LGBTQ+ organisation, has embarked on a nation-wide program to cater to the growing demand for seeking healthcare online. With the increasing number of people using online platforms to seek partners and dating applications, it's imperative that sexual healthcare also establishes a significant online presence to reach at-risk populations with information and access to services. The Project NETREACH website is a user-friendly portal that assists users in choosing from an extensive database of government and private healthcare centres. The health portal also offers users the opportunity to access free consultations with community counsellors to address any doubts related to their condition. This free counselling service extends beyond sexual health concerns, as users can discuss issues related to mental health or treatment queries.
“Changes in sexual behaviour have seen an increase in sexual encounters, risky sexual behaviours, and a decrease in condom usage, leading to the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The NETREACH website aims to create a demand for enabling health-seeking behaviour without the fear of stigma or discrimination, which is the first step towards better healthcare access.” – said, Murugesan Sivasubramanian, Technical Director, NETREACH.
Taking care of sexual health involves knowing one's body, understanding how it works, and being able to recognize when something isn't quite right. It also includes preventive care, such as regular STI/HIV testing, cancer screenings, and self-exams, that can help detect problems early and prevent serious illness.
Access to Sexual Healthcare is becoming more accessible due to digital healthcare networks supported by the national HIV Programs - National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and the wide network of state units in India that provide a range of services, including Free HIV testing and treatment, counselling, and other STI-related care and support at Government-run centres.
Attitudes towards sexual health-seeking behaviour are gaining interest with online dating gaining popularity and the shift in seeking information that engages with Google search and social media platforms that house expert and sometimes novice groups of influencers make for a greater reach in engagement. In such a changing landscape, websites like NETREACH bring the right channels to services and access to experts.
“Over the years, condom usage has dropped drastically. Our outreach work at HST has given us insights into demographic understanding of sexual health, which ranges from a small percentage being informed to the remaining that have little understanding about their options. This led to designing NETREACH as a portal for more control and anonymity for users.” – said, Vivek Raj Anand, CEO, The Humsafar Trust.
www.netreach.co.in - with its user-friendly interface, extensive healthcare centre database, and access to expert guidance, empowers individuals to take control of sexual health needs such as testing and treatment options for STIs, including HIV.