To save himself from ‘ill effects’ of masturbation, he had unprotected sex with his teenage neighbour. And contracted gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted infection.
Ask this 19-year-old the importance of sex education and he tells the story of his life. He started working in a motor garage at 12. By the time he entered his teens, Hanif Ali (name changed) sought sex. He did not masturbate after being convinced by his peers that it would lead to kamjori (weakness) during actual performance later.
Asif befriended his 14-year-old neighbour and the duo had unprotected sex.
Two years later, a wiser Ali blames his misadventure on myths about sex circulated by friends. And he thanks Shivaji Nagar Urban Health Centre, which runs the city’s only male sexual health clinic.
“This project showed how training and integrating AYUSH (Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha, traditional forms of medicine in India) practitioners in public health campaign can yield great results,” said Sujatha Rao, director general, NACO.
The importance of sex education could not be stressed more, the findings revealed. “Almost all thought masturbation was bad for health but unprotected sex with teenage girls was fine. The age of first sexual intercourse was 16 and over half of these teenagers did not use condoms,” said Radha Aras, head of community and preventive medicine, TN Medical College.