Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 114-115
 

Sex education: An effective tool in prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs


Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune, India

Correspondence Address:
Harshal T Pandve
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.39022

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How to cite this article:
Pandve HT. Sex education: An effective tool in prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2007;28:114-5

How to cite this URL:
Pandve HT. Sex education: An effective tool in prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Indian J Sex Transm Dis [serial online] 2007 [cited 2020 Aug 13];28:114-5. Available from: http://www.ijstd.org/text.asp?2007/28/2/114/39022


Sir,

In India, the recent decisions of several state governments to ban sex education in all schools concern everyone. The results of National Family Health Survey 3 (NFHS 3) are critical in this matter. According to this survey, only 80% of men and 57% of women have ever heard of AIDS. Further, only 68% of men and 35% of women know that consistent condom use can reduce the chances of getting HIV. These results underscore the pressing need to educate women and men about the virus, how it is transmitted, and how it can be prevented. [1]

The reluctant attitude towards sex education in schools arises due to fear that sex education will increase the promiscuous behavior among the adolescents as they will be aware of various risk reduction procedures like condom use for safer sex. In most countries, the great majority of adolescents are poorly informed about sexuality and reproduction. Often policy makers, public opinion leaders, and parents believe that withholding information about sexuality and reproduction from young people will dissuade them from becoming sexually active. However, according to World Health Organization (WHO), these are misbelieves if taken in a scientific way. In fact, good quality sex education does not lead to earlier or increased sexual activity among the adolescents. They need life skills in order to face the challenges of adulthood. During personal development, an adolescent's competence develops whenever there are opportunities to practice certain skills by understanding and using social conventions. Adolescents also prioritise livelihood skills and opportunities as very important to them. [2] Due to access to sex education, adolescents will have not only scientific knowledge about it but also have healthy attitude toward this issue. According to the study by Easter Thamburaj et al ., in Chennai city, sex education will not prompt students to have sex. The study also shows that, majority of the students in public and private schools felt that sex education should be included in the curriculum. [3] Such studies are important to find out the attitudes of students toward sex education.

India is one of the countries with large number of people affected with HIV/AIDS. Adolescent and young age groups are important risk groups concerned with HIV/AIDS and other STDs. According to NFHS 3, increasing HIV/AIDS education will be a critical step to curb the number of new HIV cases in India. [1] Need of the hour is to promote healthy as well as risk free behavior among these high-risk groups as early as possible. Sex education is one of the important as well as an effective tool in prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

 
   References Top

1.Two-thirds of married women don't know condoms prevent HIV. Available from: http://www.nfhsindia.org/summary.html. [Last accessed on 2007 Oct 29].  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Available from: http://www.who.int/child-adolescent-health/asrh.htm. [Last accessed on 2007 Oct 29].  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Easter Thamburaj JS, Satish Kumar SK, Edwin A, Ganesh AK, Suniti S. Student's perspective on sex education: A comparative study from Chennai, India. Int Conf AIDS. 2000 Jul 9-14; 13: abstract no. ThPeD5595.  Back to cited text no. 3    



This article has been cited by
1 Knowledge, attitude, beliefs and practices in HIV/AIDS in India: identifying the gender and rural–urban differences
Indrajit Hazarika
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2010; 3(10): 821
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