STIHIV 2025

CONGRESS Statements

Health of the Attendees

The Congress Organizers are committed to providing a safe environment for all delegates, and behavior that is construed as harassing will not be tolerated. Although the Organizers believe in the principles of free speech and academic freedom, we also understand that not all speech is well-intentioned, and can lead to harm. Prejudicial speech, e.g., related to race, gender, ethnicity, ability, or national origin, are examples of unacceptable speech that will not be tolerated at the Congress. Unwelcome physical contact will always be considered unacceptable.

Sustainability

The Palais des congrès in Montreal actively promotes and implements sustainable solutions. During the selection of the Congress venue, this was one of the main factors to hold the Congress at this venue. For more information, please visit their website.

Universal Accessibility

A remarkable meeting place for everyone — with no exceptions, the events and facilities at the Palais des congrès are accessible to people with reduced mobility and have received the “Total Access” accessibility rating from Kéroul, a Québec organization dedicated to promoting tourism and culture for people with restricted physical ability.

Values

Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Integrity and Ethical Conduct
Freedom of Speech
Ecological/Green vision/Safety

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

The Congress in Montréal will be a special time where researchers, practitioners, learners and advocates from around the world will be brought together, creating an environment to promote and advance Sexual Health for All, while ensuring that every participant feels acknowledged, valued and supported.

Financial Statement

This meeting is organized by volunteer experts. Ment to have no profit, congress surpluses if they occur, will be given back to the STI & HIV communities in form of grants to individuals, reduce pricing, educational activities. No surplus will be distributed outside of ISSTDR, IUSTI and IUSTI Canada or to individuals.

SEXUAL HEALTH
FOR ALL

Time for a 2025 reassessment of the aspirational definition?

We made our 2025 World Congress slogan “Sexual Health for All” because we support the premise that sexual health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples, and families, as well as to the social and economic development of communities and countries.

WHO published its first report on sexual health in 1975. Since, the concept of sexual health slowly evolved as a discussion about human rights, with an update in 2006, providing an international legal framework within which sexual and reproductive health needs and aspirations of all people can be considered. This conceptual revision has provided an informal working definition of sexual health as a contribution to the ongoing discussion on the topic.

Many societal, economic, and political issues have however arisen since the 2006 working definition of sexual health, significantly impacting the field. For instance, the COVID-19 epidemic clearly disrupted sexual health services delivery around the world. It has been critically influenced by political agendas, gender norms, roles, expectations, and power dynamics. The deep penetration of the internet and social media gave way to new channels for information, also paving the way to great levels of misinformation and disinformation, demonstrating the importance of having access to professional, unbiased, up-to-date information about sexual health.

Women, sexual and ethnic minorities are coming out following stigmatizing and/or traumatic health services they have received are now claiming trauma-free and non-stigmatizing services – addressing issues frequently trivialized by health services. We also witness violence and harassment at home, in the workplace and on the streets, towards individuals and gatherings, consent issues, new forms of connecting, anonymous sexual partners with dating apps, sexual activities under voluntary or involuntary drug influence, abortion rights abolished or severely curtailed, marginalized populations programs, services and rights vanishing, and more. Violence against sexual workers, persons affected by drug abuse, mental health challenges, as well as minorities – sexual and cultural – are rarely reported. Minimizing the short and long-term effects of those issues fragilize people and make them more vulnerable to STIs and HIV.

The global sexual health landscape is in parallel getting increasingly more complex: while the world demonstrates continuous progress from a scientific standpoint, we also face new infections, new tests, new treatments, new social issues, lack of ascertainment of web and social media content, illiteracy, and difficulty of marginalized populations to connect to the health and social services, long- term compliance on therapy, counseling, adoption of preventive behavior, self-sampling and self- testing, trauma-free services, syndemics, etc.

Through and beyond the diagnosis, treatment and control of diseases, sexual health requires a positive, inclusive, and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility for having healthy, pleasurable, safe, and informed sexual experiences. For Sexual Health for All to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be fulfilled, respected, and protected – calling for:

  • Freedom from organic disorders, diseases, dysfunction, and deficiencies that interfere with sexual and reproductive functions.
  • Freedom from fear, shame, guilt, coercion, discrimination, false beliefs, violence, as well as any other psychological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationships.
  • Freedom and capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behaviors in accordance with a social and personal ethic.

We believe that it is time for an updated holistic revision of the aspirational definition of sexual health addressing contemporary challenges and needs, supported by evidence-based practice approaches. It is a unique opportunity for a collective, invigorated take on the vision of sexual health. The evermore evolving, intricate challenges and innovative approaches in the field calls for enlisting all professionals and communities to proactively contribute to the advance of the field: researchers, clinicians, healthcare, social and public health workers, sex therapists, social workers, mental health professionals, street workers, peers, community leaders, and advocates from around the world. Altogether we can redefine an aspirational view on sexual health.

Join us in Montreal, July 2025.