Unsafe Sex Practice

Topics: Human sexual behavior, Human sexuality, Sexual intercourse Pages: 12 (3833 words) Published: January 4, 2013
Unsafe sex or unprotected sex describes sexual contact of any form that takes place in the absence of a condom normally used in preventing the risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV (Chambers, 2010). The World Health Organisation (2004) considers all the consequences that can arise from unsafe sex practice and came up with a broader definition stating that any sexual contact that can lead to unwanted pregnancy, abortion, infertility, unstable mental conditions and cancer arising from certain sexually transmitted infections is also termed unsafe sex. Members of the high risk group that frequently practice unsafe sex and more prone to contracting sexually transmitted infections and HIV include men who have sex with men (MSM or Homosexuals), drug users and adolescents (Chesney, et al., 2003; Stanton, et al., 1996). Women have much more power over the decision of when to have sex, who to have sex with and how the sex occurs which dictates how safe or unsafe the sexual act will be (Rider, 2000). That is why men who by their nature lack this level of control get involved in unsafe sex practice at a rate higher than women (Byrnes, 1999). The use of drugs, smoking of marijuana or drinking of alcohol above the set down limit can impair one’s ability to dictate how safe a sexual act should be (Tapert, et al., 2001). and adolescents have fallen victims to this lack of coordination caused by drugs and alcohol (Fortenberry, 1995). In a study carried out by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (2001), data showed that 1 in every 5 adolescent lose their virginity before the age of 15 and these sexually active adolescents engage in unprotected sex or inconsistent use of condoms (Manlove, 2000). With multiple sexual partners, exposing them to sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, herpes, HIV, gonorrhoea and HPV (human papilloma virus) that can lead to infertility, sterility and certain cancer (Howell, 2001). Although all these sexually transmitted infections can be life threatening, HIV is much more talked about because about 34million people worldwide is known to be living with the virus making it an epidemic and one of the leading causes of death among adolescents (UNAIDS, 2011). HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that targets the human immune system destroying the CD4+T cells and causing the manifestation and symptoms associated with AIDS (Acquired immune-deficiency syndrome) (Alimonti, et al., 2003). HIV can be contracted through the use of infected sharp objects like razor and through transfusion of blood for health reasons but the most common way of contracting the virus is through unprotected/unsafe sex with someone who has the virus (Markowitz and Perelson, 2007). The chances of getting infected with the virus increases with the presence of a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis and gonorrhea as these infections causes openings through which the virus can gain entrance (Brian, et al., 2011). One way of fighting the spread of the virus is developing safe sexual behaviours (Genius, 2009). Asides from contracting sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, there is also the risk of unwanted pregnancy associated with unsafe sex practice. This is correlated by Insabella (2000) who states that “a sexually active adolescent has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant if she does not use contraception appropriately”. Despite the risks and disadvantages associated with unprotected sexual intercourse, beliefs and ignorance due to lack of proper sex education has continued to increase the number of cases of unsafe sexual practice especially among adolescents and young adults, this was shown in a study conducted by the National Parent Teacher Association (2000) where one participant believed that the smoking of marijuana can act as contraceptives in preventing unwanted pregnancy and another could not believe heterosexual (straight) men can get infected with HIV. Ignorant teenagers think having oral...
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