Sexual Health Exchange (electronic edition)
Dear AFRO-NETS subscribers,
For your consideration:
KIT Amsterdam offers to (electronically) share information on Sexual
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2002 10:13 AM
Dear Sexual Health Exchange subscribers,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the new Sexual Health Exchange e-
mail forum. As subscribers of the Sexual Health Exchange (S/HE) quar-
terly newsletter, you are aware of our mission to promote the world-
wide exchange of information and experiences in the field of sexual
and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.
Our main focus is on grassroots non-governmental and community-based
organisations, although we also have many readers in government ser-
vices, UN agencies, the donor community and business sector.
S/HE reports on advocacy, programmes, research and policy through
Programme Features, Country Watches, Research, Evaluation and Policy
Notes, Personal Stories and Special Articles.
Expanding information sharing
High quality is an important standard for our publications. However,
we don't equate quality to scientific language or the work of large
NGOs or international agencies: we want to provide a platform for
everybody's experiences, ranging from personal stories and community
initiatives to national and international policy and planning. An im-
portant issue for us is the lessons that were learned: rather than
merely publishing success stories, we believe the process of how ad-
vocacy, programme activities, research and policy development take
place, provides real learning opportunities to others.
In addition to maintaining a high quality, we are also trying to con-
stantly expand our readership. Currently, S/HE has a circulation of
21,000 copies in about 200 countries worldwide, but we know we are
reaching far more people, as subscribers share their copy with col-
leagues and friends. Through funding from the Netherlands embassies
in Southern Africa, we have been able to secure an annual increase of
3,000 copies; i.e. by 2004, we will have a circulation of 27,000 cop-
ies. In addition to the quarterly English version, we have recently
started a biannual Portuguese version, aimed especially at lusophone
countries in Africa.
In the era of information and communication technology (ICT), we be-
lieve the printed version of the Sexual Health Exchange still has an
added value, reaching people and organisations in rural areas with
limited or no access to electronic information services.
Nevertheless, we firmly belief that ICT opens up a wealth of possi-
bilities, especially in resource-poor settings. Rather than increas-
ing the existing information gap between the rich and poor, ICT al-
lows an unprecedented increase of information exchange: it is an op-
portunity, rather than a threat.
Therefore - while remaining firmly committed to maintaining our
printed version - S/HE aims to expand its electronic information ser-
vices. Since 3 years, all S/HE back issues since 1995 are available
on our homepage:
Expanding S/HE's reach through e-mail
In addition to the existing print and website versions of our news-
letter, S/HE is now expanding its scope of activities by starting the
Exchange listserv: an information and discussion forum on e-mail. E-
mail has many advantages to website-based information. In many coun-
tries, and especially in rural areas, surfing the World Wide Web is
hampered by bad and expensive telephone lines. However, access to e-
mail has become more and more available, even in rural areas.
This new Exchange discussion forum aims to facilitate access to ex-
isting articles of the print version. It makes it easier to (elec-
tronically) share the information with others (non-subscribers), and
edit it for use in local newsletters or publications. Therefore, from
now on, we will disseminate the Sexual Health Exchange through this
e-mail forum, in addition to the existing print and web versions.
Creating a worldwide electronic forum
However, the aim of this electronic 'Exchange' forum goes beyond dis-
seminating the S/HE newsletter articles: it is explicitly aimed at
providing a platform for discussion among S/HE subscribers on sexual
and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS-related issues. With a potential
of more than 20,000 electronic members, it would be one of the
world's largest electronic discussion forums!
Of course, at this stage we do not yet have 20,000 subscribers to the
list. This first message goes to the 750 persons and institutions
whose e-mail address we have available in our administrative files.
You may have noticed that we have been asking new subscribers to pro-
vide us with their e-mail address, in order to facilitate e-mail com-
munication with our readers. As a result, we have been receiving an
increasing amount of e-mail contacts, as well as requests for sub-
scription by e-mail.
In the past, however, we have never been collecting our subscribers'
e-mail addresses in a systematic way: the Sexual Health Exchange al-
ready started in the 80s, when e-mail access was still extremely lim-
ited in most countries of the world. Hence, we do not have the e-mail
addresses of the majority of our subscribers, but hope to be able to
soon link up with an increasing number of our current readers through
Therefore, we would like to ask all of you to promote the existence
of this 'Exchange' e-mail forum, which is open to all current and new
S/HE readers, in order to create an increasing network of S/HE read-
People can subscribe - free of charge of course - by sending an e-
mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, requesting to be subscribed to the Exchange
E-mail Forum. In the near future, subscription will be automated.
We will start this e-mail service with the dissemination of this
year's back issues, i.e. issues 2002/1 and 2002/2. The upcoming issue
2002/3 on "Gender-based Violence" will be disseminated in September,
and will probably reach you even before the printed version.
Membership of the 'Exchange' e-mail list
Persons who want to join the list, should send a request to
The 'Exchange' Forum's information services
As a modest start of the list, we will start sending articles from
2002 back issues one by one, so that you can start sharing them with
your partners electronically, or use them for other purposes.
In the near future, we intend to start using the list for generating
discussions among our subscribers. However, we would like to encour-
age you at this stage already, to start using this e-mail forum for
discussions on "Gender-based Violence", which is the theme of the
next 2002/3 issue of the Sexual Health Exchange.
You can post messages to the Forum by sending an e-mail to:
We are looking forward to your reactions, comments, and above all ac-
tive participation in sharing information on sexual & reproductive
health and HIV/AIDS worldwide.
Editor Sexual Health Exchange
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