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Kenyans expect so much from the president.

By Daniel Otieno | March 14th 2017

Some young girls use contraceptives in the belief that emergency pills will cure HIV and Aids. Others avoid them because of fears of increased weight.

For others, using contraceptives is a sign of immorality as perceived by their peers.

Others are sexually active and would like to prevent unwanted pregnancy but the fear of parents and stigma from the community causes them to shy away from using contraceptives.

But it is girls that bear the burden of not using contraceptives. In the case of unwanted pregnancies, they are often stigmatised and sometimes even dumped by family members.

Some girls link condom use to lack of trust by their partners, discomfort and even cowardice in the relationships.

In addition, young girls seeking the emergency pill are often turned away from health facilities. This is due to the misconception that giving young people contraceptives promotes immorality among them.

Being found with emergency contraceptives in school could lead either to dismissal or corporal punishment.

The question is - are the young people we turn away from health facilities and learning institutions sexually active? And if they are, how high is the risk of unwanted pregnancies or HIV infection among them?

The myths and misconceptions regarding contraceptives are what make young people vulnerable to unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, early child bearing and high school drop-out rates.

What they need is accurate information on contraceptive use, including the side effects and risk factors.


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