Did you know that most university students dread pregnancy more than they do HIV/Aids? Well, now you do. Campus Vibe has learnt that most students (both female and male) are more concerned about pregnancy and not HIV/Aids during sex, which according to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics of 2013, has killed about 39 million people worldwide.
The fact that there is no cure for Aids apparently does not seem to bother most university students, Campus Vibe has learnt. Recently, university students thronged various designated points on campuses to mark the World Contraceptive Day on September 28. At the University of Nairobi for instance, sponsors like I choose Life and Marie Stopes Clinic pitched camp at the Main Campus. Here students enjoyed free services, including cervical cancer screening, STI testing and counselling, contraceptive services as well as HIV screening.
A peer educator who talked to Campus Vibe said the turnout was encouraging, with most students seeking information on contraceptives. At the main tent, it was apparent that male students were more interested in mastering condom use, while their female counterparts who sought information about cervical cancer. Duncan Ojijo, a fourth-year Psychology and Political Science student, and a qualified peer counsellor says condom use is high on campus. “Sometimes dispensers in hostels get emptied within minutes.” On campus, he adds, it is not strange to knock at your neighbour’s door at the hour of need to “borrow” a condom.
Angeline Kambua, also a professional peer counsellor and a fourth-year Sociology student, agrees that students fear pregnancy more than HIV. She attributes this to the stigma associated with pregnancy on campus. “When you get pregnant, the whole world knows, and you cannot hide it. You don’t want to imagine what your friends and family will say about you. For HIV/Aids, it’s only you and God who know your status,” explained Kambua.
According to WHO, sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with 24.7 million people living with HIV in 2013, accounting for almost 70 per cent of the global total of new HIV infections. HIV virus is ranked sixth on the list of deadly killers by WHO.