That ladies are spreading their legs to every Tom, Dick and Harry is no longer surprising, it’s a reality we are slowly and inadvertently accepting. Men on the other hand are taking advantage of the lowered standards to lay down a lady at their wish. It’s easier now to sleep with a girl than it was 10 or 15 years ago. For ladies, the toughest age group to be is between 15 – 24 years. According to government statistics, it’s the most vulnerable as far as HIV is concerned. This age group account for 21% of the new infections. Culmination and ultimate meltdown of principles nurtured and preserved since childhood is lost within this period.
Recall the infamous Masaku sevens where sex was traded so casually by intoxicated youths. Technology has complicated things even further, kids as young as 10 years are sex texting with their peers all day long. Phones have become inseparable from their hands. There is nothing wrong with buying your teenager a phone at this day and age, but when the said phones persistently distract the kid from doing his/her chores, then there is a big problem.
For starters, Kenya has the 4th highest number of AIDS infections in the world after South Africa, Nigeria and India. At least 1.6million Kenyans are infected and 100,000 continue to be infected annually. 89% of sexually active Kenyans don’t use condoms with people who do not know their status. 65% of these new infections are highly prevalent in 6 counties alone, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Nakuru, Bomet and Turkana. Nairobi bears the burden of most people living with HIV/AIDS infections as Homa Bay has the highest new infections rate. Further, 65% of new infections occur to women aged between 35 years and below. Married couples are three times likely to get infected with HIV than a sex worker.
Teachers and some men of the cloth are busy outdoing each other in impregnating if not raping young girls, left, right and center. Mainstream churches on the other hand are struggling to cover up sexual relationships grappling their members and leaders. I once heard of a bill which was meant to provide a framework on protection and advancement of the reproductive and health rights of women. The author of the bill, one Senator Judith Sijeny partly advocated for making available, of contraception and family planning services including contraceptive options and information to children under the age of 18 years. It further permitted termination of pregnancy with the consent of the mother. In a nutshell what this means, contraceptives and abortions will have found a new lease of life, in fact it’ll be backed by law if the bill goes through.
It is through this bill that the few values loosely holding the society fabric will be out rightly eroded. Debauchery is the order of day with Kenyan youths, poor or affluent, challenges seem to be the same. Guys are crawling from one lover’s bed to another with so much ease and hardly any iota of guilt. As schools open, dramas around the estates on weekends and evening hours will at least cease for now. I fear for these high school kids, they pretend to know much when it comes to gadgets, but that’s where their wisdom starts and ends. HIV is so real and so are the statistics.
Parents are not any better. Marriages are being crippled down by many cases of infidelity, cheating in marriages is at an all-time high. The only glue, sticking them together is the children who apparently take cue from them. They piece together words and deeds they see every day from their parents and breathe life to them. If it’s the case of absentee parents who have to crisscross between work and school, house helps and grounds men fill the vacuum and take away their kids innocence.
HIV is killing big time and if you are lucky to escape it, STIs will catch up with you. But ignorance is convincing us otherwise, we no longer want to apply the basics, we want to have the cake and as well, eat it. We are juggling between what’s ‘cool’ and what’s faddy. Can we dare to go against the grain and please stop conforming to the ‘new norms? ‘After all is said and done, all we be said and nothing will be done, ask Juliani. Let’s compare notes next time.