I’m doing my appointment at Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) unit these days where I have to stay for 2 weeks. It’s a pretty interesting appointment that taught us so many things that I personally never knew up to now.
In Sri Lanka sex and sex education is pretty much a taboo subject. People don’t want to talk about sex in public and even though there are lessons about sex education at school teachers who are pretty much skip these lessons quickly or never teach them at all.
Sex is a taboo subject in Sri Lanka because I think the culture and the religion of the country. Where unlike in other countries where people have casual sex and a single have many sexual partners, things are not the same in Sri Lanka, or is it?
Although we think our culture prevents us from having casual sex and have multiple partners, it’s not true at all. There is an increase (I mean serious increase of people having multiple sex partners and having sex in places like where they work etc. One must come to a STD clinic to see from their own eyes how far the reality is from the “2500 year old culture” that we think exists in the society.
According to the latest stats there are roughly 1700 HIV infected people in Sri Lanka. What do you think the common way that people get infected with HIV in this country? Do you think it’s from having sex with prostitutes? No main reason we are seeing an increase of HIV in the country is due to homo sexual people, not females. Men having sex with men, or MSM as we call it in the medical field. MSM is highly dangerous and carries a chance of 25% of being infected by HIV.
Would you believe that there are places around Colombo and Negambo that allow men to have sex with other men just like female prostitutes. And do you know that just like the female prostitutes there are male prostitutes as well, who make money from having sex with other men?
Yah it’s hard to believe that these things are happening in the country. But believe me the numbers are pretty high and specially high among young males (between 20-30) tend to enjoy having sex with other men. And most of the time they also have sex with females as well.
Men having sex with males mostly occurs in places such as prisons, boys hostels and places where men stay together for a longer periods of time.
One of the main problems the so called culture has brought upon is the taboo-ness to the subject called sex. Sexually transmitted diseases are just like any other disease like common cold and can be cured and prevented. But people tend to believe that getting treated for an STD or going to an STD clinic is one of the worst things that can happen to a person in the country.
The the culture in the society, the very thing that prevents from people misbehaving also becomes the main obstacle that prohibits people from seeking medical attention and an obstacle in preventing STDs in the country, because of the false taboo-ness and the false guilty towards people who get infected by STDs by healthy people.
I think these attitudes should be changed, people should talk more openly about sex and about sex education. And must change their attitudes towards people who are being infected with STDs. Yes people might misbehave, and have multiple partners. But that’s not a crime, it’s the way that we humans are designed my nature, we are designed to reproduce more for continuity of our species. On the moral side of it having a single life time partner is better.
We as people must change our attitudes or it will be harder and harder to prevent diseases like HIV from spreading in the country, as the numbers will increase if we continue to be taboo on these subjects like this.
Some of the stories that you can hear, and see in a STD clinic will certainly blow your mind. But these stories can’t be posted publicly.
“There are more things between heaven and earth that meets your philosophy” ~ Shakespeare