August 23rd, 2008
I’ve just got back from Hyde Park where I’ve been watching steel bands show off their stuff at the Panorama before Notting Hill Carnival begins tomorrow.
Apart from hearing some great music I was glad to see some of the bands are carrying advertising for safer sex and condom use.
STIs are on the rise across the UK and within the black community problems with chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV are a particular concern. Interestingly, although the media tends to demonise African and Caribbean teenagers as being particularly promiscuous, research suggests black girls tend to have fewer sexual partners than their white teen counterparts. There are, however, problems with young men around multiple partners and not using condoms. Which is why efforts are now being made to empower young women and encourage them to carry condoms, while educating young men to act respectfully towards themselves and others (and to carry and use condoms).
Of course we can’t just link the sexual health problem to one community or imply that members of different communities only sleep with each other. Which is why education is trying to reach out to all teens with sex positive messages that speak of pleasure, but also responsibility and respect.
If you’re off to Carnival I hope you have a great time. Don’t forget to take condoms with you so if you do meet someone you like that you can enjoy sex without worrying about infection or pregnancy. If you want more information about safer sex and condoms check out the Want Respect Use A Condom campaign where you can find out how to manage your sexual health and find loads of other useful stuff too.
If you aren’t able to make Carnival here’s some links to some of the bands who’ll be performing today. Most include clips of bands performing, which are well worth a look.
Metronomes Steel Orchestra
Croydon Steel Orchestra