Queen's contraception awareness program among world's top five

(Kingston, ON) A popular web site on contraception and sexual health spearheaded by Queen's University researchers is ranked among the world's five top e-health sites in a new United Nations competition.

The interactive bilingual web site, called "sexualityandu.ca", attracts an average of 5,000 hits per day, and reached an all-time monthly high in September with 172,843 visits. It targets adolescents, adults, parents, teachers, and health providers with information and answers to submitted questions about contraception, safer sex practices, and sexual well-being.

Created in response to the growing number of sexually transmitted infections among young people and the unacceptably high rate of unintended pregnancies in Canada, sexualityandu.ca is part of a Contraception Awareness Program launched in 2000 by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. The program was originally chaired by Queen's infertility expert Dr. Robert Reid (Obstetrics and Gynecology).

"We're delighted that the web site has been recognized in this way, and that it continues to grow in both number of users and in queries addressed by our staff who maintain it," says Dr. Reid, noting that eight to 10 questions on a wide range of sexual concerns are sent to the site each day through a confidential e-mail system. "In addition to being a resource for those seeking information on contraception and sexual health, the site has become a popular venue for student 'webquests' as more and more sex-ed teachers recognize the high quality of the information provided."

Under the co-supervision of Drs. Reid and Mary Anne Jamieson, Queen's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology offers the only contraception fellowship in Canada, called Contraception Advice Research and Education (CARE Fellowship). As well as responding to e-mail and updating the site's Contraceptive FAQ Hotline, CARE fellows provide a monthly e-news

Contact: Nancy Dorrance
Queen's University

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