TSHN was founded in 1996 by Dr. Mitchell Tepper, who suffered a spinal cord injury in 1982. At the time, it was extremely difficult for most people – especially people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or age-related physical changes – to access sexual health care from traditional sources. Healthcare professionals rarely received sexuality-related training and were often uncomfortable discussing sexual issues, so tended to ignore their patients’ sexual health concerns. This silence caused tremendous, unnecessary suffering. Dr. Tepper recognized that the World Wide Web was a means of meeting the need for high-quality, reputable sexuality information and education for both the professional and the consumer markets.
The Sexual Health Network exists to end the silence and suffering by:
- Making general and disability and/or illness specific sexual health information available at the click of a mouse;
- Providing easy access to credentialed health professionals who are committed to sexual health, who are here to listen, who understand and have sufficient knowledge and resources to deal with complex problems of human sexuality, and who can inform and offer advice regarding sexual health and sexual problems one-to-one and in groups;
- Providing forums for objective discussions of sexual matters among peers;
- Training health service personnel in sexual health;
- Providing guidance in the selection of high quality sexual health related products.