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Number of sexually active teenagers growing drastically

09 September 2014, 11:12 Daisy Onkoba

Nairobi - The number of teenage girls who are sexually active in Nairobi especially those living in the informal settlement has increased at alarming rates.

Girls as young as 10 years are said to have engaged in penetrative and unprotected sex, causing threats to their health.

According to a study conducted by the Nairobi Brain Trust, girls aged 10 – 19 years are sexually experienced, with more than 50 percent having had penetrative sex. 20 percent of girls aged 10 -13 years have had penetrative sex. However, those aged 14 -19 years are more sexually experienced.

Over 20 percent of girls interviewed reported to be in multiple sexual relationships, while 19 percent, majority of them children below 18 years of age, are engaged in commercial sexual activities. 19 percent are also exposed to pornographic materials and acts.

The report indicates that young girls suffer heavily, and some die from preventable sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

Also Read: Government warns teens against careless sex

For instance, pregnancy is a leading cause of school dropout in Kenya. 48 percent of abortions done in Kenya are by women aged 14 -24 years, mostly in unsafe conditions.

This age group also account for 50 percent of abortion-related deaths in Kenya. For majority of them, the only option is unsafe abortion.

One of the reasons that account for the increased sexual activity among young girls is that many families in Kenya still find sexuality an uncomfortable topic of discussion.

Also Read: Mixed schools blamed for high cases of teen pregnancies

As a result of adults’ reluctance to address these issues, young people tend to rely on peers, internet, personal experiences and mass media for information about sex, reproduction and STIs including HIV/AIDs.

Family issues such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse among parents and poor parental care or neglect, are also issues that put adolescents who live under such conditions at risk, with very severe consequences on their sexuality and reproductive health.

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