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General News of Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Source: GNA

11 and 14 are sexually active -Survey

Akyem Oda, July 29, GNA - A survey conducted in the Birim Central Municipality and the Birim South District in six communities by Herald Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO), shows that about 10 percent of teenagers between the ages of 11 and 14 are sexually active. While some of those teenagers said they learn sex from video shows others attributed their early involvement in sex to hardship.

Dr Konlaan Benson, Senior Lecture, Red Cross University, Stockholm, Sweden and Executive member of Herald Foundation, said this at the inauguration of a Youth Information Centre at Akyem Oda on Wednesday. He said the survey revealed that about 85 percent of boys are sexually active by the age of 14 while 60 percent of girls in that age group are also sexually active. Dr Benson said 10 percent of the teenagers said they had about three or more sexual partners in the last 12 months while 70 percent said they never used condom.

He expressed worry about teenagers' involvement in early sex and said the Foundation would step up its education programme in the communities on the need for them to guard against pre-marital sex Mr Samuel Appiah-Kubi, Chairman, Ghana Union-Umea Sweden, advised the youth to guard against watching pornographic films and to concentrate on their studies

He expressed concern about the youth involvement in homosexual activities and appealed to parents to live up to their parental responsibilities by monitoring the activities of their children. Mr Appiah-Kubi said the centre that comprises a library and a computer laboratory would give the youth the opportunity to get information on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS. Mr Samuel Anyimadu Amaning, National Coordinator, GHANET, commended the Foundation on its efforts to help reduce the spread of the pandemic in the communities.

He said GHANET had selected 31 NGOSs to go from house to house, school to school to intensify HIV/AIDS education adding that though the prevalent rate was going down, 'we should not relax". Mr Amaning appealed to parents to engage their children in sex education while Churches should also educate the youth on the dangers in engaging in promiscuity. Mr Amaning donated a number of books on HIV/AIDS to the centre. 29 July 09