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20% of babies in SVG born to teenage mothers

20% of babies in SVG born to teenage mothers

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CONDOMISE!

Get sexy with condoms! This is the advice being sounded by the National AIDS Secretariat.

At a luncheon held at Roy’s Inn on Thursday, April 6, Behavioral Change Communications Co-Ordinator, Deborah Rodney pointed out that preliminary results in a recent survey showed that 63% of males and 37% of females admitted to having sex before they were 15 years old. 20% of babies born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were born to teenage mothers.{{more}}

Deborah stressed that this was an indication that the country should “get real” and face up to the fact that young people were engaging in sexual intercourse.

While she proclaimed abstinence as being important in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Rodney noted that condoms were the other solution to preventing pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, (STD)’s which include HIV/AIDS.

The Behavioural Change co-ordinator outlined that people not only needed to use more condoms, but they also needed to use them correctly.

Rodney noted, “If you really want to know if man knows what he’s doing, he wouldn’t use his teeth to open a condom packet, because he would know that he could tear the condom like that.”

She also noted that it was time for females to protect themselves and not depend on males to use a condom.

She warned, “We have to find it pleasurable to use a condom, there are different fruit flavours for male condoms and women can make using their condoms a game for their partners.”

Rodney also emphasised that women didn’t just have to wait on males to use the condom, but that they could use the female condom to ensure their safety from STD’s.

She announced that some 5,000 female condoms would soon be available at health centers throughout the country and encouraged women to gain the power to protect themselves.

The outspoken HIV/AIDS communicator called on people to shift and share the responsibility and see female condoms as a negotiable tool for sex.

Besides getting feedback and educating those in attendance about how to tackle HIV/AIDS, Rodney also launched two commercials, which were produced by local video company Island Koncepts, the actors of Waves Theatre Guild and the input of the National AIDS Secretariat.

Besides condom use, the National AIDS Secretariat will also focus on helping the youth, children and pregnant women.

During the carnival festivities, the Secretariat will also advocate “no risky sexual behaviour” and will soon launch the National Testing Week where every citizen would be encouraged to find out their HIV/AIDS status.

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