Practise safe sex, doctor tells workshop

National, Normal

The National – Monday, January 31, 2011

HEALTH issues like HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) can be prevented if people practise safe sex methods.
United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) national programme officer, Dr Betty Koka said this last Thursday at a training workshop on “Gender equality and good governance in LLG”.
These methods included abstinence, being faithful to your partner and the use of a condom, which though, is not 100% safe, she said.
Further, practising Christian and moral values is one way to avoid the diseases.
She said that spouses and partners should communicate openly on sexual matters which could help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  Another issue discussed was gender based violence (GBV), described as fighting between spouses or between the sexes.
The danger associated with GBV was that, it resulted in mental, physical harm as well as depriving the freedom of a person because of threats being made against the person involved in the relationship.
The victims of GBV were not only limited to the adults but included girls and boys, who might had been exposed to violence and abuses from adults.
   It was an eye-opener for most of the participants to learn that violence and abuse were not only limited to acts of physical and sexual assaults but included, among other things, emotional and financial abuses.
“GBV can apply to both women and men, girls and boys, although a lot of emphasis is placed on prevention of GBV against women and girls,” Koka said.
She said that PNG culture was more male-oriented, so the focus of GBV was on women.
  The issues she discussed in general did affect the people and the government had an obligation to provide services like legal and specialised counselling to those affected.