Notes to broadcasters
Problems with HIV and AIDS are closely related to many complex social and cultural issues. For example, in some cultures, it is considered “manly” to prove one’s virility by having sex with many partners. In some cultures, young girls have “sugar daddies” who trade sex for other kinds of favours. Widow inheritance may also have an impact on the spread of HIV and AIDS. The inability of women to successfully convince men to use condoms, the poverty that drives some women and men to the sex trade, and many other cultural, social and power relationships all have a profound impact on the spread and the infection rate of HIV and AIDS in our communities.
In this script, a woman living with HIV argues that not teaching young people about sex and sexuality may lead to the spread of HIV and have other negative consequences. Another interviewee talks about the need to teach youth about sex and sexuality in our schools, homes and religious institutions.
This is obviously a “hot” or controversial topic. What does your audience think about this? As a broadcaster, you can contribute to community solutions to these issues by broadcasting this script and other programs on this subject. You might want to follow the script with a phone-in program in which listeners express their opinions on the issues raised in the script.
This script is based on actual interviews. You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on sexuality and youth in your own region. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.
If you choose to use this script as background material or as inspiration for creating your own program on youth and sexuality, you might consider the following questions:
- Is there any teaching on sex and sexuality (either direct or indirect teaching) in religious institutions in your listening area? If so, what is the teaching? If not, why not? Should religious institutions teach youth about sex and sexuality?
- Do schools teach youth about sex and sexuality? What do your listeners think is the proper role of schools around teaching sex and sexuality to youth?
- At what age should youth be taught about sex and sexuality? What aspects of sex and sexuality should be discussed? What aspects should not be discussed?
Don’t forget to get the views of the youth themselves on these issues.
Average running time for this script is about 10-12 minutes.
(Pause) Today I would like us to consider how knowing about sex and everything related to it can help our youth to be free of HIV. In my research, I was very lucky to meet a woman who is living with HIV and who has volunteered her time to train people to be “ambassadors of hope” to other people living with HIV in the villages. I want to tell you that every one of us can be an ambassador of hope. You just need to visit the nearest Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre and get tested for HIV to know your status. You cannot be an ambassador of hope unless you know where you stand with HIV.
One thing that this woman believes is that our youth should be told everything about sex. I would like her to introduce herself and give us a short testimony on how she found out that she was infected with HIV, how old she was, and what was going on in her life at the time. Welcome.
In 1994, I met a young man and we had a very big and colourful wedding at church. Later we found out that I had a problem with conceiving a child. By 1997, my doctor advised me to go for a blood test because I was feeling weak. This is when I learned that I was living with HIV. I was about 24 years old. But I suspect that I might have been infected when I was about 20 to 21 years old. After that, things were not good with our relationship. Later we decided to go and get tested for HIV, the two of us. I tested positive but my husband was negative. From there things got worse, until later we parted.
Youth are at the most danger from HIV and AIDS. I am 32 years old now, but I got infected when I was young. The statistics we have say that most of those who are getting this virus are getting it when they are very young.
So, for us to prepare our youth psychologically, we must teach them about sex. We must mix our religious teachings with teachings about sexuality. Sexuality has everything to do with the feelings, attitude and values that are a part of sexual relations. If we fail to tell them all this and they learn about sex by themselves, they may learn the wrong way. It’s better for us to prepare them, so that when it is introduced to them, it will not be a new thing.
In fact, many things have been said with the aim of misleading young people. We have to teach our youth about sexuality so that they can know their bodies and the changes that they will face when they are growing up. If we wait until they learn everything by themselves, they are going to learn it from these misleading “teachers.” If we teach young people about sexuality, in time we will have responsible youths in our society and in our country.
It’s shocking to get these stories from the media of young girls dropping out of school due to pregnancies. The most recent shocking incident was reported this year, on June 10, when 18 pupils from Chepkurkur Primary School in Mount Elgon, in Bungoma County, were found to be pregnant and had dropped out of school.
In the same month in Cheplanget Primary in Buret, Kericho County, five girls between 11 and 16 years old dropped out of school for similar reasons.
This may not be seen as a big issue because now they can be allowed back to school after giving birth, but what about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections? And there are other birth-related complications, especially for young girls.
I am also blaming the Teachers Service Commission for not acting strongly to curb teenage pregnancies caused by teachers and school staff.
Instead of giving severe punishment, they are simply transferring the teachers and staff involved. It is very disturbing that those caught impregnating underage girls have been left unpunished. This is a wake-up call to parents who have been accused of neglecting the responsibility of imparting the right values and morals to their children.
I usually advise youth to learn about sex in the church, even the use of condoms. It’s very discouraging that the church has a kit for people living with HIV but discredits the use of condoms.
Although we don’t directly teach sexuality to the youth in our church, we have workshops for the youth to be told about HIV and AIDS. It’s in these workshops that they are told everything, including safer sex and using condoms when they have no way out of sex.
In our age, our aunties, uncles, and grandparents were the ones who used to pass this information to the youth, but they are now the culprits. Something needs to be done to rescue our youth!
Contributed by: Dominic M. Maweu, freelancer, Rural Voices Africa.
Reviewed by: Busisiwe Ngcebetsha, Media and Training Centre for Health, Cape Town, South Africa.
Julia Wambui Maina, June 2006, Kibezi, Mkueni County, Kenya.
Michael Mutune, August 5, 2013, Mtito Andei, Mkueni County, Kenya
Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)