Friday, May 11, 2012

Under-15 sex: Indian girls beat boys

In India, eight per cent of girls between 15 and 19 years had sex before turning 15 as compared to three per cent of the boys in the same age group, a survey conducted in 2010 says. This trend holds for most of the developing world and in countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, 17 per cent of girls had sex before they turned 15 years old. These are the results of a Unicef study on adolescents carried out in 2010, titled Progress for Children. Since 2010 is just a little over one year back, it can be safely assumed that the trends have not drastically changed.

Early sex can result in early childbearing, and it increases the risk of HIV infection. In 2010, out of every 1000 Indian women who became mothers, there were 45 girls aged between 15 and 19 years.
This is extremely worrisome for India because an abysmally low percentage of girls (19 per cent) have comprehensive knowledge about HIV-AIDS and the need to take protection as compared to boys (35 per cent) of the same age group.
In India, 8 per cent of girls in 15-19 age group had sex before turning 15 as compared to 3 per cent of boys.
About 63 per cent of boys and 1 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 years had sex in the last 12 months of 2010, according to the report. Out of them, only 31 per cent of boys and 20 per cent of girls used protection (condoms). So the vast majority of Indian boys and girls are having unprotected sex. This does not speak well of the Government's long-running campaign and NACO's activities. India, as of 2010, had 49000 boys and 46000 girls in the age group of 10 to 19 years who have tested positive for HIV.

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