YOUNG PEOPLE ARE VULNERABLE
Adolescent years are times of discovery, emerging feelings, exploration of new behaviours and relationships. It is a time when some of you feel the need to test your boundaries to determine who you are and what you can do.
This transition to adulthood – accompanied with physical, emotional and psychological changes - however is also a vulnerable period for many of you. Expectations are “imposed”, and on your part, there is a need for acceptance by friends, peers, society and family.
Adolescents and young people who lack access to correct information about relationships, sex, alcohol and drug use, may seek advice from friends and the internet. Wrong information and peer pressures can lead some of you astray.
Lack of supportive environments and services to practice safer behaviours increases your risk to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV as well as the risk of pregnancy.
Special focus: At-risk youth
Not all young people have the ability to say no to sex. Some are pressured or forced into having sex, others may engage in sexual activities as a part of risk taking and experimenting behaviour. Youth who start having sex early are more likely to have sex with high-risk partners or multiple partners, and are less likely to use condoms, increasing their vulnerability to HIV infection.