Young sexually active Indians (or those about to be so) appear to be no different from their western counterparts when it comes to AIDS awareness. They know they don’t have AIDS. The also know that their girlfriend/boyfriend doesn’t have AIDs, because he/she either is a virgin or has slept only with this or that person, known to be “safe”. Prostitutes and people who inject drugs are those who might have AIDS, not normal people – unless they have had to receive blood.
This is the kind of thinking which is allowing AIDS to spread amongst the heterosexual population, particularly teenagers.
Now, let’s stop and think. If a boy has had unprotected sex with a prostitute, and fears he might have AIDS, will he feel free to talk about it to his peers? What would be the reaction if he did? If a girl or a boy has been sexually abused or raped, recently or as a child, will it be said? Remember Pinki Virani’s (prudent) numbers: four girls out of ten; one boy out of four. In the newspaper the other day, I saw much more scary numbers – probably closer to reality: six girls out of ten, and four boys out of ten.