We were talking with a friend recently who told us that global health folks have decided to add the letter “D” to the famous ABC’s of HIV prevention. For those not up-to-date on the HIV/AIDS lingo, A stands for “Abstinence”, B for “Be faithful” and C for “Condoms”. And so now the letter D is being introduced, standing for “Delayed sexual debut.” It seems that finally the world is recognizing (finally) that by the time most young people (or really most young adults) hear about ABC’s and start thinking about the consequences of premarital/unprotected sex, they have already begun engaging in risky behaviors. Children are exposed to adult themes so early in this culture. We have had, on multiple occasions, children as young as 3 playing “house” in our front yard… and, with pants down, trying to mimic mommy and daddy’s lovey dovey action. We often feel like little kids, especially girls, are asked to grow up too fast.
Our friend Mwape gave birth last week. Mwape failed out of 9th grade this past year and was pregnant a few months later. She has always looked youthful and vibrant, but now with a tiny baby, she looks, I don’t know… worn? Depressed? Aloof? Some of that is probably a little PPD. The fact that she is still drawing her own water and cooking all of her own food doesn’t help. Her equally young baby daddy is not exactly the most empathetic character out there.
Anyway, my point is that we really love these little girls around us and we want to see them stay little for as long as possible. So yes please! Add the D! Delay sex until the time is right kiddos!
And until then… Have a silly band!
It is really common for girls to wear condom rings on their wrists as bracelets. I don’t know where they get them. I assume out of someone’s trash pit which is just… gross.
|the condom bracelet|
For any girl I see with a condom bracelet, I make a deal with her. Ditch the condom and I’ll give you a much more exciting silly band! I can’t change all of the sexual mores in the village, but I can perhaps swap one adult theme for a more age appropriate one. Does this make a big difference? Who knows. But the girls feel special and important, and they don’t wear tattered rubber with dried semen on their wrists and I think that’s great!
|silly girls, silly bands|