Sex among the youth

Sun.Star Davao - - OPINION -

It was re­cently re­ported by the Davao City Aids Coun­cil (DCAC) that, in the city, the youngest recorded HIV/Aids case ac­quired through sex is a 13-year old. How­ever, due to the sen­si­tiv­ity and con­fi­den­tial­ity of the case, they did not di­vulge any­more de­tails of the mi­nor.

Data from the Re­pro­duc­tive Health and Well­ness Cen­ter (RHWC) in Davao City showed that 1,004 in the age group of 15 to 25 years old are in­fected with HIV/Aids. This is the sec­ond largest age group in­fected with HIV/Aids af­ter the 25 to 34 years old group with 1,181.

As com­pared to the whole pop­u­la­tion of Davao City, the num­ber may look small but it should not be over­looked by many. The sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease is a grow­ing prob­lem in the Philip­pines with an aver­age of around 31 cases be­ing di­ag­nosed ev­ery­day, ac­cord­ing to the data pro­vided by the Al­liance Against Aids (Ala­gad).

We ask our­selves, why is this hap­pen­ing? Pri­cilla Senoc, DCAC Sec­re­tar­iat, pointed out that so­cial me­dia may have a hand on this. So­cial me­dia has given the youth more ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion that should not get to them like top­ics on sex. The in­ter­net, which can­not be fully reg­u­lated as it may vi­o­late some rights, is al­ready ac­ces­si­ble to the younger ones al­low­ing them to see con­tent, like pornog­ra­phy, that may cor­rupt their young minds.

How­ever, prior to the in­ter­net, in a way the me­dia also plays part in this. Mag­a­zines with adult con­tent can be bought by some­one older and they can give it to some­one who is younger than them. In Philip­pine tele­vi­sion, there is no short­age of scenes on adul­tery, pre­mar­i­tal sex, and other sex­ual top­ics.

So­ci­ety as a whole have not also done any­thing to ad­dress the prob­lem. Fam­i­lies and churches shy away from any de­cent dis­cus­sion on sex with the young peo­ple. It is th­ese two in­is­ti­tu­tions that must be at the fore­front on the dis­cus­sion of sex and the im­por­tance of keep­ing your­self for the per­son who you will marry.

Schools might not also have prop­erly dis­cussed the mat­ter within the class­rooms.

There is no sense of ma­tu­rity when it comes to the dis­cus­sion of sex in Philip­pine so­ci­ety. When peo­ple in gen­eral talk about, it usu­ally comes out as some­thing they can laugh but fail to re­al­ize its neg­a­tive im­pact when not dis­cussed prop­erly.

If there is no proper dis­cus­sion on sex that will be done be­tween fam­i­lies, churches, and schools, we can ex­pect more mi­nors con­tract­ing HIV/Aids or other forms of sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases due to lack of knowl­edge on sex and com­mit­ting pre mar­i­tal sex.

We should not be ashamed to dis­cuss sex be­cause if we do not foster an en­vi­ron­ment where it can be healthily dis­cussed, then there could be an in­crease in the num­ber of young peo­ple and mi­nors con­tract­ing HIV/Aids.

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