Because of Covid-19, the biggest problems in the field of sexual and reproductive health were experienced by HIV patients, pregnant women and women who suffered from violence, according to a study conducted by the Institute of Public Health at Stradins University in Riga (RSU).
RSU Professor Gunta LazdāneLatvian radio
The director of the institute, Professor Gunta Lazdāne, said that 40% of pregnant women canceled or postponed the visit, 33% of new mothers did not come or postponed the visit after giving birth, 25% of people could not diagnose HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease.
Lazdāne stressed that the last indicator is worrying because Latvia has the largest number of new HIV cases in Europe.
This is due to the lack of a platform to obtain information for these groups. Therefore, the researchers plan to create it in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
The study also found that one-third reduced sexual activity due to stress. The tensions caused by Covid-19 also contribute to the increase in domestic violence.
Lazdāne stressed that people are not alone and have access to help, including psychological help.
The research was conducted as part of a national research program, and scientists will discuss the results in more detail at the conference “Effects of Covid-19 on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Latvia – Results, Conclusions and Recommendations”. The conference will be held on Friday, November 27, from 1pm to 4pm, and all interested are invited to join it on the ZOOM platform.
The survey, conducted in Latvian and Russian, involved 1,173 participants, and in addition to these quantitative data, in-depth interviews and interviews with various focus groups were conducted during the project. The I-SHARE project takes place simultaneously in 33 countries, representing all regions of the world and different levels of prosperity. The I-SHARE project is coordinated by the international platform ANSER based at the University of Ghent in Belgium and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In Latvia, the research was conducted as part of the ambitious national research program Covid-19 to mitigate the projects “Impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the health system and public health in Latvia; strengthening the preparedness of the health sector for future epidemics”.
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