by Damilola Jagun
“The conversation has subsided and the world hasn’t stopped.” “The usage has decreased significantly and we are all having jolly steady sexual intercourse. “
HIV and Condoms respectively!
HIV – Human immunodeficiency virus. A deadly virus which is passed on through blood and some bodily fluids, during unprotected sex, from mother to child during childbirth, and many other ways. Once in your system, HIV damages your immune system, so you’re more likely to get other infections.
A condom(which goes without saying), is a barrier device most commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STDs—such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV).
I had heard about it severally, but strangely somehow never experienced it, until some months back when to my utmost chagrin, a lady pleaded with me not to wear a condom before intercourse.
Alarmed and surprised, I put my clothes back on and left her apartment (hard to believe, right?).
On my way out, it dawned on me and re-registered in my subconscious that poco a poco, the lubricated rubber was being under-utilized and its relevance being severed by many, nowadays.
Maybe the African HIV pandemic of the 90’s and early 2000’s has lost its spine….
AIDS, which is one of the most destructive diseases in the world, has killed over 30million people worldwide and about 34million people are currently living with it.
Why again, are we not concerned? Maybe lesser people carry the virus in present day.
Maybe there’s a known cure or affordable preventive measures.
In 2012, a one-a-day HIV preventative drug, Truvada was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and endorsed by the Centre for Disease Control. If taken every day, it can prevent HIV infection.
It is sold for between $8,000 and $14,000 per year.
It remains out of reach and too costly for many who need it. I wonder how many Nigerians can afford this.
Or maybe it has escaped our reasoning that condoms prevent not only HIV but syphilis, gonorrhea and other unfriendly body visitors.
From my experience, association, and relation with my peers of both sexes, I know for certain that today’s youth (male and female) secretly loathe the use of condoms as opposed to going in raw. Guys are all for skin-diving(Nigerian lingo for condom-less sex) and the female half heartedly or hardly complain while some even request for it, yeah, raw sex.
There is this sardonic theory that most guys throw about jokingly, but surprisingly with conviction, to validate and justify their abandonment of condoms.
The saying goes thus ‘I will know if she’s got the virus’ as if a carrier usually has HIV crested on her forehead.
Now it would be a bloody double standard and I’d be doing my conscience a great disservice if I claim to have never indulged in the globally loved act of skin-diving. I have, yes, severally in the recent past but then, that’s the past, and this is the present. I am wiser now, I’m all pro-condom. I might even wear two, if need be.
But, why the sudden distaste for the rubbery lubricated savior from HIV and other sister diseases by youths of this generation, if not all and sundry.
Why the dangerous silence on the matter?
Who is culpable?
We can blame the government and our leaders like we always do, but then, we should know better if we possess any iota of common sense and are a progressive generation like we oft proclaim.
We need to enlighten ourselves and adopt a sense of responsibility for the fate of subsequent generations.
If we cannot abstain from sex, we shouldn’t abstain from condoms.
HIV is very much alive and actively spreading (but silently) and no known cure or affordable prevention is in the market for the disease.
I am a youth and so are you. I love sex and so do you.
If we must have sex, then we must use condoms.
Condoms have been used for at least 400 years. Since the 19th century, they have been one of the most popular methods of contraception in the world.
I am against all things cliché but this is one status quo that must be maintained perpetually.
Tell it to your peers and siblings.
Scream it to them everyday if you have to. Act smart, live healthy, and be responsible.
We are all guilty of this inaction. Don’t dull.