New Delhi: There is definitely more to it than what meets the eye. The young in India are sexually active before marriage and outside of marriage according to the findings of the Social Assessment of HIV/AIDS in India.
Both sexes are ill informed about HIV/AIDS and protective measures, with girls scoring highest in ignorance and boys, having all the wrong information. Among the sexes, boys were seen to be more sexually active; alarmingly 73 per cent of the youth housed misconceptions about the method of transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Girls seemed to be most susceptible because of the situation, such as living on the streets, in orphanages, brothels, as children of labor class or simply as children of infected parents. The vulnerable also included young brides, who are unable to stand for themselves and firmly deny unprotected sex, often are mute subjects to HIV and sexually transmitted infections, in contrast with their unmarried counter parts.
The other vulnerable lot includes street children, adolescent sex workers, orphans and migrants, who are not in a position to avail the treatment services and hence are at the doorstep of disease.
In the scenario, it is important to equip youth with knowledge so that they can be masters of their own destiny. And to enable this, knowledge dissemination should cater to life situation of the youth, instead of a straight jacket programme to suit all, which ultimately defeats the purpose of the programme.