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Confusing messages about sex for young people Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Esther Agbarakwe, Nigeria Feb 11, 2008
Health , Human Rights , Education   Opinions


Growing up as a youth in the HIV/AIDS era must be tougher than it was before the advent of the epidemic. Watching your friends get ill, suffer through bodily pain, social stigma, or self-induced shame and isolation, creates a general feeling of despair and frustration as the body succumbs to different opportunistic infections, which induce fear in the observers' as carers, infected or affected. The mockery of looking too old, or too thin to be one’s own age, scares HIV-infected adolescents as they progress on to AIDS.
Missing school due to illness can sometimes leads to performing poor in examinations. Whispers, gossip, rumors, bad-mouthing, backbiting and banter from other ignorant young people must hurt, especially if they were formerly one’s chat-mate. If one is not a sufferer, they can learn a lot from the experiences of youths who have gone through the processes of having HIV and AIDS.

Explaining to society adults, moralists, health workers, religious leaders, and policy makers on how ‘one young person’ got the virus can be a daunting task. ‘How dare you have illicit sex?’ they seem to demand, because to many of them, sex is supposed to be only consumed within the marriage institution. They forget that the passion of youth, desire and experimentation drives them along the part that sexually active youth trudge. They say ‘Don’t do it!’ And yet they themselves do it left, right and center. They say, ‘Thou shalt not commit fornication!‘ and yet they themselves are adulterers.

Teachers teach us to abstain from sex until marriage. And yet these same teachers pressure their students to offer sexual services as bargain for good grades in exams. Fathers tell us to be exemplary and keep away from premarital sexual activities. But huh, our fathers have sex with housemaids, who are among the long list of outsides wives. Policemen tell us to keep the law, but they force themselves on sex workers rounded up in the night clubs.

Policy makers and programmes implementers are not any better. First they say ‘Abstain!’ As youth try hard to keep aware from the allure of the forbidden fruit of sex, the same leaders say, ‘Have a condom, be wise!’ So youth hear, ‘Abstain,’ and ‘Use condom!’ And they hear ‘Be faithful to your partner!’ Disclose your status and be faithful!‘ Admitted it is presented as choices, that progress in linear fashion. A for Abstain, B for Be faithful, C for Condom use, and D for Disclose your sero-status.

However, these policy and programme developers ignore the irrational thrill of youth, the erratic character of the erotic, and the pure bliss of sex especially when it is enjoyed against all odds! Many youths get confused by these mixed messages, prefer not to work within the model of options, or choose to dwell on the opposing messages aimed at them, without understanding the repercussions of illicit sexual relationships.



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Esther Agbarakwe

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That's great...!
Thomas Julo Barlue | Feb 13th, 2008
Soo good to hear of such great female to make headline in nigeria. Please be a help to other females like your age and train them well to promote productive youngsters females in africa...welcome. Tee

Mohammed Ahmed-Shaibu | Feb 14th, 2008
How are you doing. I like and understand your write-up. Even when we know that the world is fast changing and young people are facing issues that their parents barely faced, do we still encourage them to practicalize them or advice them morally to uphold dignity and integrity. I commend your contribution. You're doing a great job!

Dr. Kyaw Su Thway | Feb 14th, 2008
yes..it's the most important way of spreading HIV. But... there are many other ways we should be aware of.

Esther Agbarakwe | Feb 14th, 2008
DearMohammed, thank you for your comments, You see they tells us one thing and they do another thing. what i really thing is tranformational leadership traing for every one where we will make room for a new future and where the world is seen in a new perspctive. and we need also to brake out of the viscious circle that we all in inoeder to make room for a better future.

arman roy | Aug 17th, 2012
i want more fuck

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