The good news- Sri Lanka is a ‘low prevalent country’ for HIV AIDS.
The bad news- With the country’s precipitant development, the risk of HIV AIDS spreading wildly is a burning problem.
What’s worse- The youth are highly vulnerable to contraction of the virus due to the “increase in migration internally, externally and internationally due to economic, leisure, [and] displacement”- according to the Family Planning Association.
So ask yourself- do you know all there is to know about HIV AIDS? Did you know that the virus can be contracted due to momentary carelessness?
One of the best methods of prevention is to keep yourself informed and Beyond Borders is inviting you to a Forum Theatre production on HIV AIDS. Bring your friends too and watch the enthralling interactive play and discussion.
The event is for free. All you need to do is register here- online form.
Dinidu speaks about the importance of Sex Ed. in an interview with Sirasa TV’s Good Morning Sri Lanka programme.
Among the issues discussed are, prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the effectiveness of the peer education model, questions about whether Sex Ed. actually increases the level of sexual activity. The interview, which is in Sinhala was before the 8th ICAAP conference 2007 held in Colombo.
Despite the propensity to think otherwise, Young people in Sri Lanka are sexually active. Average age of sex for Sri Lankan males is at 15 and females at 14 (UNICEF/2006). Sex Ed., although present in the Sri Lankan education curriculum is often ignored by teachers. Experiences of other countries shows that a higher standard of sex education at an early age prolong the average age of sexual intercourse of young people.
Sex Education was one of the main action areas for Beyond Borders regionally for the year 2006/2007. In late 2007, the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka sent out a circular to enforce a previously existing policy of requiring explicit approval from the Ministry for any external workshops conducted on Sex education thus making any informal efforts for Sex ed. extremely difficult.
“Because sex education is rarely sexy,
And Erotica is rarely safe.
Putting the sexy back into safer sex.”
Those of us who actually did get sex ed in school, got the basic biology-only kind of abstinence focused sex education. This trend continues today, as a result of the Bush administration’s Global Gag Rule (also known as the Mexico City Policy), completely cut off funding to progressive organizations who were working on safe abortion. As most of these organizations like IPPF and Marie Stopes had a large stake in the comprehensive sex ed arena, this effectively meant that the comprehensive sex ed aspect which spoke about issues such as contraception also suffered.
But the industry seems to be going strong in some areas, and the others seem to be recovering well. Modern Loving, a video done in conjunction with the Pleasure Project, is a perfect example of seamlessly combining pleasure with safer sex. The MTV Staying Alive campaign also has a collection of interesting public service media which has been used to promote safer sex. But this advert for Trust Condoms remains my all time favourite.
Din is a self proclaimed Photographer, Blogger, Freelance Journalist, Copywriter, Event Manager, Translator, Designer, Social Worker, Poet and BB-ite. He blogs at http://pinkboxinggloves.wordpress.com. He is also sexy, single and available.
There is a strong nexus between HIV/AIDS and poverty, especially in the most poverty-stricken areas in Africa. The World Bank Blog, Ending Poverty in South Asia exploring whether HIV could have similar negative effects in the development of South Asia relates an interesting story from Sri Lanka,
Young people, one of the more vulnerable groups in society, are not getting enough (or any) education about AIDS. One Sri Lankan at the conference [ICAAP8] said his high-school biology teacher, noting that chapter 17 of the textbook was about sexuality, said that only chapters 1-16 would be on the exam. [link]
This is quite common for Sri Lankan teachers, the reasons are a combination of societal taboo about sex and their own weak understanding of sexuality. Someone should teach the teachers!