The new health minister intends to put prevention at the center of his policy plan. François Braun, a former emergency physician, then head of the Center for Emergency, General Medicine, Justice and Uncertainty at Mercy Hospital in Moselle, has been talking a lot in the media this week. about Sunday newspaper this weekend in France Inter the following day. Picked 20 minutes and her young readers to talk about sexual health. “Two things are a problem for me: the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs), namely chlamydia and gonococci, as well as the problem of the availability of emergency contraception,” he summarizes this Tuesday in his office at the Ministry of Health. The minister announces that 20 minutes several corrective measures. All will be included in the Social Security Financing Act of 2023.
How to explain the rebirth of sexually transmitted diseases, is it not possible to improve school prevention in this area?
All areas of prevention must be improved, France lags behind other European countries. Only 2% of our budget is dedicated to prevention compared to 3% for our neighbors. Things have been done in terms of sexual health education in schools, but it is clear that this increase in STDs is real. It is very complicated to know the exact cause: is it insufficient prevention? information? or more global relaxation on this oh-so-fundamental issue? Anyway, my job is to react as quickly as possible to break this dynamic.
From the point of view of prevention, there are delays in sports activities, vaccination against papillomavirus, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.
I am therefore announcing that STD screening will be free and without a prescription until the age of 26 for young people, who are part of the population most affected by these infections. Currently, this screening is free only for HIV. From now on, the option of screening will be extended to all sexually transmitted infections to combat this resurgence of infections as soon as possible.
When it comes to contraception, there are still big differences between female and male contraception… Why not develop the latter further?
I will contact the High Health Office to get advice from scientific authorities on male contraception. But first we will strengthen the protection of women, then from next year, depending on the scientific data, we will open it more widely, if necessary, also to male contraception.
Regarding female contraception, I am announcing the strengthening of women’s protection by facilitating their access to emergency contraception. [ou pilule du lendemain] in pharmacies, free of charge and without a prescription, at any age. Today it is free and without a prescription only for young female minors and free with a prescription for those under 26. We had to fight their difficulties in accessing emergency contraception, because we know that its effectiveness is maximal within 24 hours of reporting a high-risk pregnancy.
You say that France is lagging behind in prevention, especially when it comes to sexual health, what needs to be improved?
All of them. That is why I am glad that this ministry is the Ministry of Health and Prevention, we are finally putting prevention first. When we talk about health, we usually only talk about care. However, it is also individual everyday well-being that must be a priority. This includes health promotion through screening, care and follow-up policy. It is this set that needs to be taken care of.
From the point of view of prevention, there are delays in sports activities, vaccination against papillomavirus, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc. To this end, I have announced the establishment of health screenings, free consultations open to the key age categories of life, 25, 45, 65 years. At the age of 25, it is exactly the time to evaluate, for example, your sexual health. We must make this concept of prevention available to our fellow citizens.
How to improve sex education knowing that only 13% of the sessions required by law take place in school according to the WeAll survey?
These studies are very interesting because in our country decision-making is not very often accompanied by an evaluation of the established measures. But in this particular case, it doesn’t work well enough. We are discussing the issue of school and university health with my colleagues in government, including the Minister of National Education, Papa Ndiaye. At a time when society tends to retreat into these issues and when the questioning of the right to abortion seen in some countries challenges us, it seems more important than ever to put these issues of sex education at the center of our thinking.
Charline Vermontwho manages the Instagram account ” Orgasm and me »he is convinced that several dozen accounts like his provide sex education to young people on social networks… Isn’t it the role of public authorities to educate on these issues and especially on consent?
It is very good that the company has taken up this topic. All communication channels are useful for raising public awareness of these topics. The more the message spreads, the more it allows for general awareness.
Precisely in light of what is happening in the United States, do you think about protecting access to abortion in France and how?
As Minister of Health, I want to make it very clear that we must protect this fundamental achievement for women, which is the free use of their own bodies. The government also talked about it, and I am in favor of including the right to abortion in our constitution.