Author: Erwida Maulia
The National AIDS Commission has launched an interactive sex education website aimed at connecting teens and young adults with health experts.
The website, www.sexxie.tv, which can be viewed in English and Indonesian, was created by Singaporean medical 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, adding that including sex education in the country’s school curricula would still spark controversy, including among teachers.
“Sometimes the teachers are too reluctant to explain about sex, while the pupils perhaps know about it a lot better than the teachers from the Internet and so on,” Nafsiah told a press conference.
“Thus we use information technology to help the young generation consult with health experts and professionals without having to meet them face to face. They are a segment in the communities who haven’t been given a chance to understand how to take care of their health while they’re probably at a stage where sex has become part of their lives.”
Nafsiah said that HIV/AIDS prevention programs were so far only focused on “high-risk” groups, consisting of injecting drug users, female sex workers and their frequent customers, transgenders, transvestites and homosexuals.
“There is a group, however, who is not yet but nearly at risk, too — that is the young generation,” she added.
According to data from Unicef, approximately 110,000 Indonesians will be suffering from or will have died from AIDS and another million people will be HIV positive by the end of 2010. One of two people with AIDS are between the ages of 15 and 29.
The Indonesian health and demographic survey indicated that 12 percent of teen marriages (age 15-19) were done because of pregnancies. Another study conducted by the University of Indonesia showed an alarming abortion rate of 2 million cases every year in Indonesia — 30 percent of the mothers were teenagers.
Nafsiah said she hoped the Indonesian public, most of whom saw sex as taboo, would tolerate the website. “What we given here is not pornography nor things that can inspire strange dreams,” she said.
Wei, who created the website, said six medical doctors, two of whom were Indonesian, would help answer questions from website visitors.
He said 20 others were willing to volunteer for the site.
The website provides health articles, such as on abortion and sexually-transmitted diseases, “webinars” or online seminars, and sharing and consultation forums.