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Positive Talk live chat: Teenage pregnancies

SAfAIDS Media Desk, 17 October 2016 (SAfAIDS) - Against the backdrop of many reported cases of teenage pregnancies and abortion, Positive Talk Live chat put up the issue for discussion to bring to light why this trend is increasing at an alarming rate. The discussion aimed to bring out the issues of responsibilities and choices made by young people and the risks associated with indulging in sexual activity.

‘’No method is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy other than abstinence. In the African culture it takes the whole village to raise a child. Both teens' families should be supportive to the teen couple’’, a young man suggested. Abstinence was put forward as the best preventative measure for young people, while others pin pointed that globalisation has changed how people live, especially for teenagers. ‘’Abstaining for teenagers is more difficult than going for pre-marital sex’’, he further explained.

 ‘’It’s tough to give up your freedom and your normal life when being pregnant, l don’t think teenagers would want to take that risk considering they are still young and adventurous’’ explained a concerned mother.

Others highlighted that young people sometimes do not think about the future, resulting in them making irrational decisions which they later regret.

A young mother also highlighted that the hope that we have for our children to abstain from sex is failing to put things in perspective and not facing reality. Most young people suggested that their parents should take the responsibility of teaching them about sexuality education and life skills.

From what was being said, ignorance appeared to be the major cause of most teenage pregnancies. A young girl confesses,’’ I got drunk at a party and had sex without protection. Fortunately, I survived, but what of other teens who made the same mistake as mine and ended up pregnant?’’ This demonstrates that teenagers get pregnant because they fail to plan for unexpected situations. As a result, most teenage girls are shocked and confused when they realise they are pregnant.

Positive Talk, believes that young people need to know their sexual and reproductive health rights. This helps them realise that rights comes with responsibilities. If they decide to indulge in sexual activity, they should be aware of the associated risks.

These include not only unplanned pregnancy, but other sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Everyone is urged to take preventative measures which they are comfortable with. For those who decide to abstain need to stick to it 100%. Those who decide to indulge in sex should use protection such as condoms as well as contraceptives. And in the event of mistakes happening, they should seek emergency contraception, which can prevent pregnancy, provided it is taken within 72 hours of the incident. They should also seek post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection.

Source: SAfAIDS Media Desk