LETTER: Unprotected sex has to be stopped now
Billions have been made available for ARVs to be given to HIV-positive people and to prevent transmission of the virus from mothers to their babies, and the government also launched and pushed the ABC (abstain, be faithful, use a condom) message in a bid to arrest the epidemic.
Recently it was touted as a success that millions of people were now on government-funded ARVs.
I don’t consider it a success. I think it shows rather that the ABC message did not reach these millions of people. However, I accept that without the campaign the number of HIV-positive people we would now be supporting would be much, much higher.
Like your correspondent C August, I therefore also call for a concerted campaign to educate people about contraception, the consequences of not using contraception, responsibility towards those we bring into this world, and a bit of basic economics - that you can take better care of a small family rather than a large one.
This could be extended to give people the bigger picture: the country can take better care of a smaller population than one growing beyond the government’s (and tax-paying public’s) ability to support it.
Fewer people means better medical care at government hospitals and better equipped public schools, and so on.
The culture of rampant unprotected sex resulting in unwanted babies has to be addressed. Young women should be educated not to have sex - especially unprotected sex - to obtain or retain a partner’s affections.
Young men should be educated that unprotected sex results in babies, which they are then morally responsible to take care of, and that they cannot insist on unprotected sex. I wish the education and health authorities would tackle this issue with the same verve as they did Aids, before more babies are tossed down pit latrines and into drains.