In today’s world, nothing is a big deal. People have become more open-minded and try basically everything. However, this being open-mindedness comes with some assumptions and beliefs that are just fallacious. Anal sex being safe is one such belief.
There is general ‘nonchalance’ that has steadily replaced the doom and gloom that HIV evoked in people two decades ago. Today, words like ‘condom’ or ‘penis’ no longer provoke discomfort and more or less sound as innocent as ‘church’ or ‘water.’ The society in the 21st century is freer such that the mindset of yester years has been replaced with more radical thinking especially on the sexual front.
Consider the latest info from the ministry of health suggesting that nearly one fourth of Kenya’s prostitutes believe that ‘sex from behind’ is safer to conventional ‘missionary’ sex. This belief is worrying in view of homosexuality embedding its subculture in Kenya. Dr George Githuka – who worked with National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCOP) at the time we spoke, said that anal intercourse increases chances of being infected with an STI – HIV in this case. Dr Githuka touched a little on the history of HIV.
“It was early 1980s when doctors noticed a disease that caused wasting before killing its patients. They noted that it was very rife among men who had sex with other men,” Githuka offered. It is only years later that it would be discovered why gay people presented a higher affinity to infection by the virus.
Githuka says: “The anus, compared to the vagina, does not lubricate naturally during intercourse. It is dry. This increases friction and therefore tears and wounds through which the virus gets easily inoculated.” John Mathenge, who proudly fights for rights of commercial male sex workers, also held the view, at the time, that gay hookers were off the hook no matter the number of clients they were handling since “You have to walk around with lots of lubrication. It reduces friction and therefore chances of infection...”
But health experts in sexually transmitted diseases have debunked this notion and just because ‘kufunguliwa boot’ does not lead to pregnancy does not mean it makes it safer and commercial sex workers of either gender, are thus at risk of higher infection rate with the HIV/Aids virus.