Menstrual Health Day: We Must End Period Poverty

In Global Advocacy, Global Featured, News by Brian Shepherd

Join AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) on this Menstrual Health Day (MHD) to fight period poverty and eliminate the harmful stigma surrounding menstruation that keeps women and people who menstruate of all ages from thriving. This year, in partnership with The Period Abundance Foundation and with support from The Period Company (Period.), more than 20 AHF country teams will distribute hundreds of free pairs of Period. underwear to those who need them most.

Observed annually on May 28, Menstrual Health Day raises awareness about the importance of menstrual health education and resources like Period. underwear, which will help recipients stay in school, decrease stigma and discrimination, and allow them to thrive during their periods. Period. is innovative underwear designed by The Period Company and made with a highly absorbent four-layer towel technology and a special wicking layer, which can be washed, reused, and lasts up to 10 years.

“In addition to our teams distributing free Period. underwear, nearly 40 AHF country teams are hosting Menstrual Health Day activations that include advocating at schools for menstrual hygiene management to be added as part of the curriculum and showing how menstrual products help keep girls in school,” said AHF Directory of Global Advocacy Guillermina Alaniz. “Advocates are also connecting with governments to reduce or eliminate taxes on menstrual hygiene products, working with young boys to help destigmatize periods, and addressing transactional sex that girls engage in to acquire sanitary pads, often resulting in unintended pregnancies and exposure to HIV/AIDS and other STIs. For these reasons and more, on this Menstrual Health Day, we must do all we can to end period poverty worldwide.”

An estimated 1.8 billion people menstruate globally, yet 500 million will experience period poverty—including the lack of access to menstrual health products, safe and clean facilities, and accepting communities. These barriers, along with stigma, can lead to poor health outcomes, missing school or work, and adverse effects on mental health. This Menstrual Health Day – let’s end period poverty and end the stigma.

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