Looks like we need to have the talk again. Last month the NGO Aids Concern released findings that show more and more youth in Hong Kong are having unprotected sex. This is coupled by the CDC announcing that STD’s are at an all-time high in the US. What’s gone wrong? Well, there are some theories…
Jim Hoe, the NGO Aids Concern’s advocacy and community research manager spoke to Coconuts HK to say “There are two major reasons. The first one is related to knowledge, because they don’t have enough, or accurate, sexual health knowledge and they don’t know how to protect themselves. They think it’s okay not to use a condom or birth control. The second one is related to the woman and relationships, they don’t want to upset their partners. There’s a belief that it’s a selfish… even they don’t dare to request to use a condom.”
While in the US, studies have shown that half of the patients were unwilling to use their health insurance to cover visits due to privacy concerns whilst others felt that the use of condoms was unnecessary because most STD’s are ‘treatable’. That’s some flawless logic.
One of the more shocking statistics to come out of Hong Kong was that for those who had sexual relationships with prostitutes, only 71% were using condoms, whereas, in 2014, it was 84%. A drop was seen across the board, whether it was between casual partners or regular partners, with heterosexual relationships falling from 44% in 2014 to 28% in 2018.
Aids Concern also found that less than half of those surveyed knew about contraceptive methods such as condoms or birth control pills. If that’s not a red flag, then we don’t know what is.
With all a wealth of resources on social media and the interwebs, there’s something to be said about the lack of awareness and the ‘don’t talk about anything uncomfortable’ mentality of Hong Kong when it comes to sex and sexual health. Even with being so connected with the world, the youth of HK aren’t looking for the answers.
In an ideal world, education should start early, with parents beginning the conversation and with schools reinforcing the basic rules of thumb. But there seems little hope in that department as Hong Kong’s sexual education guideline’s haven’t been updated in 21 years, and schools aren’t even required to teach it.
A true recipe for disaster. All we can say is – keep it under wraps, get tested frequently and for those who got duped by the system, dig into some light reading material to get you started:
Ask Alice – https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/ – The Go Ask Alice site is supported by a team of Columbia University health promotion specialists, health care providers, and other health professionals, along with a staff of information and research specialists and writers. Our team members have advanced degrees in public health, health education, medicine, counselling, and a number of other relevant fields.
Love Matters – https://lovematters.in/en -Love Matters is a place to talk about sex with an open, honest, and non-judgmental attitude. At the same time, we do our best to produce content that doesn’t offend people and that fits in with the culture where you live.
Amaze – https://amaze.org/ – AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed. Real info in fun, animated videos that give you all the answers you actually want to know about sex, your body and relationships.