The issuing of condoms in schools has always been a heated back and forth debate in Jamaica.
UNICEF Jamaica has reported that adolescents and young people in general remain a very vulnerable group.
“Adolescent girls aged 10-19 years are almost three times more likely to become infected with HIV than boys of the same age,” said UNICEF Jamaica in a release which summarizes some of the most critical aspects of its 2013 report.
“This higher susceptibility for girls is a result of several factors, including early sexual initiation, young girls having sexual relations with HIV-infected older men, high rates of forced sex and prevalent unsafe sexual practices among adolescents,” said UNICEF Jamaica.
As a result of these statements, acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kevin Harvey and UNICEF’s country representative Mark Connolly has made it clear that the discussion regarding condom availability in schools should not be dismissed.
“We have always reported that the majority of persons infected with and those who have developed AIDS are in the 15-29 age group. If it takes about 10 years before developing AIDS, then you can imagine that they would have contracted it 10 years prior on average,” said Harvey.
He also stated that 50 per cent of adolescent boys and 17 to 20 per cent of girls have had sex by age 15.
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