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Sexapades in the city: busted or demise?

Mpango wa kando is a well known phrase in this city. Most Nairobians don’t need to have it spelt out. And a good number practise the trade whenever they choose, or if a chance presents itself.

But therein lies a good recipe for disease.

The only safe sex is sex with a single partner, of known sexual health status. Anything else, no matter the potential for untold pleasure, portends health risks. Individuals predispose themselves to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. And this is further compounded by additional risky behaviour that accompanies unsafe sex. So called sexapades are difficult to separate from excessive alcohol and drugs.

So what drives the almost tangible amorous habits in this city?There has been an ever rising middle income group, with cash to spare for fancy forms of entertainment. This same group comes with redefined liberalism, everything and anything goes. Once our unchecked drinking habits are put into the mix, drugs added in and high testosterone levels, all roads can only lead to one final thing. Sex, and more sex. Caution takes a back step, after all there is the morning after pill and affordable treatment for sexual infections.

But health consequences of unsafe sexual habits are not that simplistic. Sexually acquired infections like chlamydia, syphilis and HIV have longterm consequences. Multiple organs can be affected, with potential for chronic ill health. Unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions are increased, contributing to untimely deaths in extreme cases. A proportion will end up having problems with conception in the future. Any prolonged ill health reduces overall productivity, medical bills add up, and all have a knock-on effect on the economy.

Is there a way out? If you are tempted to have sex with a partner of unknown sexual health status, there are several rules you must observe. The safest rule is simply to walk away, and cool your fires with your regular healthy partner. But you could choose not to walk away. In that case, each of you must declare their sexual health status. You might have to wait several hours for the test results to come through. And remember why condoms are readily available. If used correctly and every time, they greatly reduce the risk of acquiring STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Some rules are plain stupid, and better not to contemplate them. Throwing caution to the wind, hoping for the best and going in head first is a rule to be broken. Of course visiting your doctor the next morning is an option. Preventive pills, commonly called post-exposure, can be prescribed.But it’s sometimes too late.

So think hard and fast this weekend as you contemplate a night out. You may never get busted, but it may just be the start of the countdown to your demise.

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