Aahung was founded in 1995 by a group of individuals, to facilitate the implementation of two community based projects, Karachi Reproductive Health Project (KRHP-1994) and AIDS Awareness Program (AAP- 1997). The projects aimed to improve the sexual health status of women and adolescents in four low-income urban communities, and reduce their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
After directly serving the community for 5 years, Aahung staff realised the great demand and need for sexual health information and services. Research in these communities demonstrated that men, women and qualified health care providers had several myths and misconceptions about sexual health related issues. For example, 99% of women stated that all types of vaginal discharge was a sign of disease. Similarly, health care providers were treating normal vaginal discharge as sexually transmitted infections. This type of misdiagnosis and wrong information caused a lot of stress in marital relations, leading to depression and an economic burden due to unnecessary treatment. The WHO protocol which was being used by most health care providers was also found to be inaccurate as it was leading to over treatment.
To discuss complicated and sensitive issues surrounding sexual health and rights, Aahung adopted a rights-based approach and developed culturally appropriate methodology to educate and counsel women, men and adolescents and empower them to make better sexual and reproductive health choices and practice safer behaviours. Similarly, the Aahung medical team developed a new and improved protocol for managing reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections. They realised the need for a client centered approach to health care and developed the language and skills to take a comprehensive sexual history and counsel clients with sexual health problems.
In order to meet the great demand for sexual health information and services, Aahung has emerged as a resource organisation, whose aim it is to link up with larger organisations and help them integrate sexual health services into the scope of their work. Today Aahung is a considered a leading expert in the field of SRHR and is called upon by many organisations to train their staff on sexual health and rights issues. Our manuals, protocols, guidelines and information materials are used by organisations all over the country. Aahung has successfully integrated sexual health education and services into large reproductive health organisations, schools, medical universities, nursing colleges and government outreach programs.