Dear colleagues,
In these very difficult and trying times due to the COVID 19 pandemic I would like to share with all a message of solidarity and hope. In fact we are living an extraordinary challenge that threatens our health systems at the global level and also our way of life. An increasing number of countries from all continents are now living in exceptional or emergency state with several limitations to basic individual rights (mandatory confinement) and with a significant risk of collapse from national health systems and economic and social institutions endangering two of the most basic human rights – the rights to life and health.
The response to this pandemic is more than ever dependent on the collective involvement of all (from the health professionals in the front line, to all of us conforming to behaviors that prevent the spread of the virus).
During these trying times, sexual health and rights are also particularly exposed to additional risks. A recent editorial from the Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters Journal,  called attention to the potential impact of the COVID -19 pandemic in heightening gender inequities and the threats to the rights of the most marginalized (e.g., women and girls, refugees, migrants, people living with disability or HIV, sex workers, LGBT people), as well as disrupting basic sexual and reproductive health services such as maternal health, contraceptive access or safe abortion. Moreover, “social and economic pressures may increase domestic and gender-based violence and sexual exploitation” (Hussein, 2020) .

Therefore, in these exceptionally difficult times, more than ever, we should unite and  work together to defend and promote sexual health and rights for all. As president of the World Association for Sexual Health and in conjunction with our Executive Officers,  I would like to make a global call for action, to all organizations and professionals in the field.
WAS is creating a platform for an open forum on the impact of COVID-19 to sexual health and rights. We would like you to e share your thoughts, ideas, plans of action, to defend and promote sexual health and rights. In the meantime, please use the following email: secretariat@worldsexualhealth.net
Warm regards,
Pedro Nobre, President
Esther Corona, Vice President
Luis Perelman, Secretary General/Treasurer
Kevan Wylie,  Past President