The National AIDS Commission on Wednesday launched an interactive sex education website, www.sexxie.tv, which it says aims to connect teens and young adults with health experts who can provide them with accurate information on sex.
The website, which is available in English and Indonesian, was developed by a Singaporean doctor and inventor, Wei Siang Yu, better known as “Dr. Love”.
Commission executive secretary Nafsiah Mboi said the website would help provide proper sex education for young people who needed it, since including sex education in the national curriculum still sparked controversy, including among teachers.
“Sometimes teachers are reluctant to discuss sex, while pupils perhaps know more about it than teachers, from the Internet and other sources,” Nafsiah told a press conference after the launching of the site.
“We are utilizing information technology to provide a platform for young people to consult with health experts and professionals, without having to meet them face to face.
“Young adults are a large segment of the community who haven’t been given a chance to understand how to take care of their health, and they’re probably at a stage where sex has become part of their lives,” Nafsiah said.
Existing HIV/AIDS prevention programs had only focused on “high-risk” groups comprising injected drug users; female sex workers and their frequent customers; members of the transgender community; and homosexuals, she said.
“One group, however, have not received HIV/AIDS education even though they are potentially at risk too — that is the younger generation,” Nafsiah said.
According to data from UNICEF, approximately 110,000 Indonesians will be suffering from or will have died from AIDS and another 1 million people will be HIV positive by the end of 2010. One of two people with AIDS is between 15 and 29 years old.
The Indonesian health and demographic survey indicates that 12 percent of teenage marriages (age 15-19) are done because of unplanned pregnancies.
Another study conducted by the University of Indonesia shows an alarming abortion rate of 2 million cases every year in Indonesia, and 30 percent of the mothers are teenagers.
Nafsiah said she hoped the Indonesian public, most of whom regard sex as a taboo subject, would accept the presence of the website. “What we provide here is not pornography or something that could lead to strange dreams,” she said.
Wei, who created the website, said he had six medical doctor staff, two of whom are Indonesian, who would help answer questions from website visitors. He added that there were 20 others who were ready to volunteer for the site. The website provides health articles, including on abortion and sexually transmitted diseases, “webinars” or online seminars and sharing and consultation forums.
The staff can also be contacted for consultation via chatting, Twitter, Facebook or SMS.