Monthly Archives: February 2017

Obese Men Are Better in Bed – New Study Explains Why

Obese Men Are Better in Bed – New Study Explains Why


Research explains in great details how obese people are at risk. Health risks involve susceptibility to diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure issues, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis and stroke. However, a new study has revealed that there are some benefits of being obese, especially for men. One of the benefits of being obese is related to the sexual performance of the man.


Turkey’s Erciyes University conducted the research. Their results are noted in a study titled “Insight on pathogenesis of lifelong premature ejaculation: inverse relationship between lifelong premature ejaculation and obesity.” According to their findings, there is a direct co-relation between a man’s weight and his performance in the bedroom. It adds that men with excess weight last longer than healthy and lean men.

Benefits Of Being Obese

Researchers claim that obese men with oodles of fat around their stomachs have better stamina for sex, states an article in Mail Online. Scientists reveal that obese men last 90 seconds longer than the leaner or skinnier guys. They attribute this to the presence of a female sex hormone called estradiol, which inhibits male orgasm.

An article in Sun UK adds that the average time before a man climaxes is generally five and a half minutes. However, men with a higher body mass index (BMI) and stomach fat could last for around 7.3 minutes in bed. The study also revealed that many of the patients experiencing premature ejaculation were in fact leaner men with lower BMIs.

However, leaner men may not be suffering only from premature ejaculation. Another Mail Online report explains that leaner, skinnier and healthy men, who indulge in high intensity work outs end up with lower libidos.

Lean Men, Lower Libidos?

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted this research which tried to find a link between men’s work out and their sex lives. The study interviewed around 1,100 men including experienced athletes. Answers to a thorough questionnaire, filled by respondents, revealed that men, who indulged in moderate or light intensity workouts or those that were moderate in duration had moderate or high libidos. However, those undergoing long or intense workouts had lower libidos.

Healthy Women Have Better Sex?

Another interesting study reveals that it is not just heavy men, who have all the fun. Women, who eat healthy too enjoy a better sex life than those who don’t. An article in Elite Daily quotes a study conducted by Santa Chiara Regional Hospital in Trento, Italy in 2014. The study monitored women who ate healthy.

It found that most of women, who ate healthy consumed apples regularly. It further revealed that from the healthy women, those who ate apples regularly had better sex drives. They also had increased arousal and frequent orgasms when compared to those who rarely ate them. This is because apples contain a chemical called polyphenol, which helps oxygen-rich blood reach the genitals during sex.



The acclaimed play, The Chemsex Monologues, will hit Adelaide Fringe in 2017. Rachel Cook spoke with director Luke Davies about the show which tackles the phenomenon of chemsex.

In 2015, VICE released a documentary on the world of gay men, drugs and sex called Chemsex. The documentary explored the phenomenon among the UK’s MSM community.

How we tackle chemsex and the surrounding risks is being looked at by health organisations and the media, but The Chemsex Monologues offers another way of looking at the world of chemically enhanced sex, by allowing the audience to meet characters who live in this world.

The UK based Dragonflies Theatre, have managed to produce five plays in their short lifespan. Founded in the summer of 2015 all their shows have been written by playwright Patrick Cash and directed by Luke Davies. Davies says so far all of them have concentrated on LGBTQI issues.

“We’ve made shows about drag culture, about the history of queer activism, and about gay men’s sexual health,” Davies tells Blaze.

Currently, as well as working on The Chemsex Monologues the company is producing a show called The HIV Monologues, which will be performed at the Ace Hotel in London. That play, as well as The Chemsex Monologues, has recently been published by Oberon Books.

“Our aim is to make accessible and engaging theatre about issues affecting the LGBTQI community,” Davies says, “we’re especially keen to reach out to people who might not normally go to the theatre.”

The Chemsex Monologues is a series of five interweaving monologues that span a period of two years. There’s a narrator who is new to the chemsex scene and who finds himself taking G and crystal meth for the first time; a club night poster boy who falls madly in love with a pornstar; Cath, a fag hag who is looking to celebrate being single on Valentine’s Day with her best friend Steve and a sexual health worker who takes a bottle of wine to his first chillout party.

Davies said that it was important for them to present the chemsex scene in a non-judgmental way and to steer clear of sensationalism.

“We’ve always felt that it’s not our duty as a theatre company to make a statement about how people should behave, or to issue a health warning,” Davies says.

“Instead, our role is to tell the stories of the people involved in as understanding a manner as possible. That said – we’ve been careful not to downplay the seriousness of the issues involved for many people – and the play tackles head-on difficult subjects like drug dependency, mental health and intimacy issues.”

The ‘fag-hag’ while historically innate in the world of gay men is an often left out character in queer theatre. Davies says when Cash was researching the play and interviewing people involved on the chillout scene – people often spoke about characters like Cath.

“I think she’s a brilliant addition to the play, because she offers an outsider’s insight. She’s got a two year old daughter, but has arranged for her to be looked after so she can spend the night with her best friend Steve. She’s not expecting a night of chemsex – but she has in the past been to chillouts with Steve so she’s not phased,” Davies says.

“Her insight is interesting because having had a kid, she hasn’t been on the scene for a while – and she sees how it’s evolved so that it’s less of the party vibe and more about the sex. Her concern for Steve, who has started injecting and has lost a lot of weight, is one of the most touching moments of the play.”

Initially performed at the King’s Head Theatre in London in May 2016, The Chemsex Monologues has since been performed elsewhere in the UK since. In all of the performances the audiences have been broad and the feedback has been positive.

“The play has gone down really well. We’ve had great reviews in the UK, and audiences have been really responsive.

“We’ve had people from all walks of life come and see the play – and whether they’ve had first-hand experience of chemsex, or whether they’d just seen a headline about it, the general response has been that the play helped them to better understand the human dimension of an issue that is often discussed in a clinically detached way as an “issue”.”

Davies continues:

“Earlier in 2016 we performed the piece for healthcare professionals at the European Chemsex Forum. That was a bit nerve wracking, but in the end I think they were one of the most appreciative audiences we’ve had.”

While artists and critics will always debate the issue of ‘the responsibility of the artist’ when tackling controversial issues, how realistic is it to avoid the dangers of chemsex?  There’s a fine line between opening up an experience to an audience and battering them over the head with rhetoric. Davies says he hopes audiences come away with a deeper understanding of why people are attracted to chemsex.

“I think we’re keen for audiences to recognise that there’s a lot about the chemsex scene that is troubling, and that sometimes people are drawn into it for the wrong reasons. But hopefully the play doesn’t leave audiences feeling despondent about these issues, or that combining sex and drugs is an inherent evil.

“I’d like to think that the play encourages a positive response: without shying away from the sometimes destructive impact of chemsex, it asks what can be done collectively to caution against these dangers. Hopefully it does this without demonising or attempting to enforce some kind of behavioural code.”

The Chemsex Monologues heads to Australia in 2017 for the Adelaide Fringe Festival followed by a season in Sydney, after that it’s back to London with a different cast followed by (a yet to be confirmed) season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Gynopedia: The international online resource for women’s sexual and reproductive health

Gynopedia: The international online resource for women’s sexual and reproductive health

A new online resource to help women access sexual, reproductive and health care across the world has launched.

Gynopedia was set up by Lani Fried, a woman from San Francisco who realised she had no idea how to access contraception as she prepared for her travels across Asia. On the website there is information about contraception and emergency contraception, sexually transmitted infections, menstrual products, pregnancy and abortion all relevant to the city where the user is needing to access these services.

“I started Gynopedia because I couldn’t find anything like it,” she told The Independent.  “When I began preparing for my travels, I realised that I had no idea how I would get birth control in the 12 or so Asian countries that I planned to visit and that was just the tip of the iceberg. How about annual pap smears? What if I got pregnant? This lack of information has been a constant theme in my life and I assumed that many other women felt the same way. Time and time again, I have needed advice from local people and lacked an online resource. This made me enraged yet wildly inspired and so Gynopedia was born.”

The website looks a lot like Wikipedia and was made using MediaWiki from “a tiny budget” paid for out of Lani’s own pocket and set up from her budget hotel room in Hanoi, Vietnam. Anyone can contribute to the site, much like Wikipedia, however, Lani stresses that due to the historically low rate of female contributors to Wikipedia (in 2011 the figure was put at 10 per cent) she is hoping the site encourages more female contributors.

“Every day, I add information to Gynopedia and other people add information with no financial compensation. It is a lot of work to develop and manage an information-rich site with no profits but it is incredibly rewarding.”

Currently, 77 countries are covered by Gynopedia but she hopes information on more countries will soon be available. The page is so far only in English but Lani hopes this will change as the site grows.

The current issues women face when trying to access this information in other countries is that they may not know the laws and social stigma around reproductive and sexual health. Other dilemmas may be something as simple as not knowing how to say certain words or phrases when trying to access medical advice and treatment in foreign countries.

“Women may not know which clinics or gynaecologists they can trust and where they can feel safe and respected as well as which health options are accessible and affordable. As women, we are often aware of how religion, politics, culture and history can play a role in health care in our home countries. However, we may not be aware of how these factors work in other countries,” Lani says.

Another incentive for Lani was the renewed concern she and many women in her home country have over their reproductive rights since Donald Trump became President of the United States in January. Within the first few days of taking office, the Trump administration reinstated the Mexico City Policy which will block funding for any international NGOs or health clinic that so much as mention abortions for women looking for pregnancy advice. Days later, the speaker of the House of Representatives said they will vote to defund Planned Parenthood – one of the largest providers of sexual and reproductive health in the United States.

“The Trump administration is attacking women’s reproductive rights, and it’s attempting to reverse years of hard-fought battles and social progress,” Lani says. “In this climate, it is crucial that people raise their voices and get involved. There are so many ways to do this, and one of the ways is to contribute information to Gynopedia. When people contribute to Gynopedia, they let people know about the laws and their reproductive rights. They let people know what options are available to them, how they can pay for these resources and who can help them. When women share wisdom and resources, we empower one another to fight for accessibility, affordability and choice.”

Lani also hopes the site will help to educate men who are also searching for advice and information

New online resource gives female travelers access to vital reproductive health care

New online resource gives female travelers access to vital reproductive health care


Getting comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care as a woman is hard. Getting care while jet setting, however, is damn near impossible.

But a silly-named site is looking to change that for female travelers, allowing globetrotters to access need-to-know health information in an easy-to-read wiki.

t also includes trusted regional organizations working to promote reproductive rights and curb sexual violence.

Additionally, the wiki details regional stigma around each topic, and offers an average cost of service. Notably, Gynopedia includes information tailored to the LGBTQ community in many of their guidances — a rarity in conversations around reproductive and sexual health.

“Why did I create Gynopedia?” creator Lani Fried wrote on the site. “Honestly, because I couldn’t find anything like it.”

Modeled after Wikipedia’s user-friendly style, Gynopedia currently houses extensive information for 67 cities throughout North America, Africa, Asia and South America.

Fried, who is a San Francisco native, told Broadly she was inspired to create the site in 2016 after she realized how “clueless” she was when it came to accessing sexual health care for her upcoming trip to Asia.

But Fried said difficulty accessing care had been an issue even prior to her 2016 trip. Just moving state-to-state within the U.S., she said, required a lot of time and dedication to find quality care.

“I lived in Istanbul for a while a few years back, and I remembered how challenging it was to get a proper STD test there,” Fried told Broadly. “And not just in Turkey: I have moved to and from a lot of different American cities, and have always had to do way too much research to gain information on what is basic but essential stuff.”

As a frequent traveler, Fried wanted to create a resource that took the guesswork and apprehension out of crucial care for female travelers. But building the database was a one-woman show for a while, with Fried compiling all the information based on her own travels and knowledge.

To help broaden her scope, Fried eventually reached out to national nonprofits and organizations dedicated to sexual and reproductive health to help inform entries.

“When I started it, I was driven by the belief that women and all people — no matter their genders — should be able to make decisions about their own bodies,” Fried said. “Whether they choose to become parents or have an abortion, to use birth control or not, the choice is theirs to make. Women’s health decisions shouldn’t be a political issue.”

Like other Wikipedia-styled sites, Gynopedia allows any user to edit or add information. Though this feature allows the site to cover more global locations, the crowdsourcing nature of the site also has the potential to negatively impact the quality and reputability of the site’s information.

To help set ground rules on editing, Fried created a guidelines page to outline expectations. But while Fried’s top priority is ensuring the site is trustworthy, she admitted Gynopedia — which she calls a “baby-new project” — can’t be her main focus yet.

“The project isn’t my full-time occupation, but I really, really care about it,” she said. “My main goal now is to recruit more contributors so that we can grow into a full-on Wiki and always be current.”

In the meantime, the site is a start to solving a long overlooked issue — and to addressing stigma around sex and sexuality for traveling women.

“I’m no health expert or web entrepreneur. And I probably don’t even know what I am doing here,” Fried wrote on the site. “But I’m someone who has been uninsured, in need of health care and lost in cities many times — and that’s just me. There are millions of women who have it much worse — cut off from information and progressive health care, isolated from so many resources.

“So, that’s it,” she continued. “I got fed up with the state of things, so now I feel crazy passionate about this new ‘lil website.”

Sex and gender education in schools: Government’s resource kit very mature, addresses even homosexuality issues

Sex and gender education in schools: Government’s resource kit very mature, addresses even homosexuality issues

In India, equipping adolescents with adequate sexual and reproductive health information and shaping a gender-progressive attitude in them has historically been ignored.

In India, equipping adolescents with adequate sexual and reproductive health information and shaping a gender-progressive attitude in them has historically been ignored. With sex and gender education dealt with perfunctorily in school curricula—take the out-of-school adolescents into account, and the problem worsens—and adults choosing to either sweep queries under the carpet or remain tight-lipped, many adolescents often turn to dubious sources of information, and that shapes unhealthy attitudes towards these matters in later life. All this, however, could soon change, if the resource kit the Union health ministry has drafted for adolescent health education is widely adopted to inform young adults about these matters. The resource-kit, drafted as a guide to train 1.65 lakh peer-to-peer educators called saathiya, encourages a progressive stand on a wide range of issues such as consent, gender stereotypes, etc.

The most striking change from the past is that the resource-kit addresses the issue of homosexuality squarely—deeming same-sex attraction natural—and advises against discrimination. It also comes out strongly against unhealthy gender stereotypes, reinforced in common perceptions of what constitutes masculine and feminine behaviour, and gender-based violence. There is also relevant information about contraception—teenage pregnancy in India is more than twice as common in US and ten times that of Western Europe, though this has more to do with girls being married off early here—and sexual behaviour that is of immense import in a largely prudish country. With 26 crore adolescents in India, the resource kit and the saathiya initiative are an opportunity to build the right attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health and gender in the adults of tomorrow.


McGill graduate spearheads PornHub’s new sex ed initiative

McGill graduate spearheads PornHub’s new sex ed initiative

Pornhub, the largest online provider of pornography, launched a new initiative website on Feb. 1. Called the Sexual Wellness Center, it is the first sexual education website undertaken by a pornographic website.


“At the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center, we are fully dedicated to your health and education, and to create a place where information pertaining to the physical, psychological, and even the most intimate aspects of sex is available to all,” Dr. Laurie Betito, 1988 McGill University graduate in psychology and Montreal-based clinical psychologist, explained.

Betito is the creator of Pornhub’s new initiative and the author of the majority of its content. The Sexual Wellness Center also brings in experts to contribute articles about reproductive health, anatomy, and sexually-transmitted infections, including Dr. Zhana Vranglova, an associate professor of psychology at New York University.

Pornhub had an estimated 21.2 billion visits in 2015, which, according to Betito, is an enormous population who the Sexual Wellness Center would be able to reach.

“Pornography, is […] all just fantasy,” Betito said. “But, unfortunately, it is sometimes the only sort of sexual education people receive and if it’s possible that this website could potentially reach millions of people, it would be a step in the right direction.”

The Sexual Wellness Center also encourages visitors to send in questions regarding any aspect of sex. Betito’s latest responses answer questions regarding the female orgasm and male virginity.

“In just a few weeks, we have received hundreds of questions, telling us that the site has already gained some traction,” Betito said.

According to statistics published by the Guttmacher Institute, a U.S. sexual and reproductive health think tank, 76 per cent of public and private U.S. schools taught abstinence as the best method of avoiding pregnancy. Furthermore, 88 per cent of all U.S. schools allowed parents to remove their children from sexual education classes. Instead, the extensive accessibility of pornography influences children’s and young adults’ views on sex, in particular with respect to its physical aspects.

Not everyone agrees that Pornhub’s sex education initiative is decidedly beneficial. Quartz had a more skeptical outlook on the website.

“The ironies of Pornhub’s endeavor, of course, are clear,” Leah Fessler wrote in Quartz. “If any industry has negatively impacted young people’s understanding of healthy sexual behavior, it’s mainstream porn. And if any company epitomizes mainstream porn, it’s Pornhub. [Pornhub’s Sexual Wellness Center’s] site collectively feels like a wash of disconnected, elementary, and at times, even inaccurate information which, without proper context, serves limited educative power.”

It is too early to determine the efficacy of the Sexual Wellness Center as the site only launched a few weeks ago. However, according to Betito, Pornhub releases an annual report on the viewership of its content and this new initiative is very likely to also be included in the statistics.

There are still some technical issues to address as the Sexual Wellness Center is set in motion. From Pornhub’s main site, it is currently impossible to navigate to the Sexual Wellness Center. Betito responded that she is working on resolving the issue and increasing the visibility of the site.

“Pornhub has told me they are working on it,” Betito explained. “We just got started a couple of weeks ago. They will also post some banners to advertise in between the videos.”

Betito also responded to accusations that Pornhub is pursuing sex ed just to get more clicks.

“I want to make it clear that this is not some sort of publicity stunt by Pornhub to attract more people to their site,” Betito said. “They already have enough traffic as it is.”

Aesthetically, the Sexual Wellness Center has distinguished itself from its mainstream partner. The website’s pale blue background is in stark contrast to the black and orange theme featuring Pornhub’s more explicit materials.

With Pornhub’s bold new initiative, other pornographic websites may follow suit. Just this month, the adult website xHamster protested Utah’s refusal to adopt a comprehensive sexual education program by redirecting traffic from the state to websites hosting sexual education videos. Utah currently provides abstinence education only.

Time to make amends: world has let down the girls

Time to make amends: world has let down the girls

THE GLOBAL community has made commendable progress in arresting the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the past four decades. AIDS is no more a death sentence as millions of people are now leading healthy lives, thanks to life-saving medications. Even in poor countries, including Africa, HIV infection rate has declined dramatically. But HIV infection rate among adolescent girls and young women remains high, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

UNIADS has raised the alarm that a large number of teenage girls and young women aged between 15 and 24 years across the globe are being inflicted by HIV every week.

It is said that in 2014, about half of all adolescents living with HIV globally were living in six countries, five of which are in Africa.

In Eastern and Southern Africa, 74 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents are among girls aged 15-19, and AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.

These damning statistics are a clear indication that there is urgent need for new innovative HIV prevention interventions and approaches to reach adolescent girls and young women.

It is further testament that along the way – during the fierce battle against HIV/AIDS   the world somehow failed to empower adolescent girls and young women.

And it is time to change course. Policy makers, including parents, first need to wake up from the slumber. As adults, we need to come to terms with the reality that young people know more than what we think.

They are living in a fast-paced world dictated by the digital information age.

They are consuming too much information from the Internet, including sexual content, but without proper guidance from the elders.

Pressure is now on our policy makes, especially in health and education sectors, to chart a new course regarding the welfare of our young girls.

And we are grateful that this message has reached home in our region where the problem is said to be calamitous.

About 100 delegates from east and Southern Africa recently gathered in Namibian capital, Windhoek, to strategise on how best to reach adolescent girls and young women with HIV prevention in the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The picture that emerged from the gathering is that governments and all stakeholders, including parents, are paying little attention to the dangers of HIV infections among teenagers of reproductive age. That we have been too gullible to assume that teenagers are not engaged in sex – more so in risky sexual behaviours.

“The important thing is not to deny that sex happens, but to teach them about all the consequences.

It is ignorance, not education that puts young people at risk,” according Namibian health minister, Dr Bernard Haufiku.

Minister Haufiku made an assessment that it is crucial to educate our teens mostly girls about sexual relationships. In the absence of a cure for HIV/AIDS, the minister calls for a shift in socio-cultural and religious beliefs that remain a stumbling block to an effective sex education.  Haufiku further observed that: “Our sexuality and maintaining sexual health are lifelong processes that begin at birth and continue throughout life and children should be educated about it at tender age.”

Until we break the sex talk taboo – our young ones are bound to make costly mistakes early in their lives. But who is going to educate them if the majority of parents in Africa, including teachers grew up in an environment where talking about sexuality issues is a big ‘NO’. If parents cannot have candid sex talks with their kids, who is going to do it? One blogger on a South African open online forum ‘Ukweli Wa Mambo’ charted a new course for governments in the region.

The blogger wrote that: “How about our governments’ partner with young African movers and shakers, who are already making a difference in our communities.

Allow them to regularly speak to the children as older brothers and sisters or friends instead of authority figures. Open the communication channels and perhaps we can combat teenage pregnancy and reduce sexually transmitted diseases.”

Safer Sex Week | Use A Condom Plus One – For Everyone’s Protection

Safer Sex Week | Use A Condom Plus One – For Everyone’s Protection


Condom + Another Contraceptive = #UltimateProtection’ is the theme for this year’s Safer Sex Week – February 13-18. The aim is to push for the use of dual contraceptive in the fight against unwanted pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases (STDs).


Condoms are an effective method to protect against pregnancy, HIV and other STDs, but according to the National Family Planning Board Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency (NFPB-SRHA), it is always best to have a back-up method such as the Pill, injection or an intrauterine device.

The latest data in the 2016 UNAIDS Prevention Gap Report found that the highest increase of new HIV infections is within the 15-29 age group. In addition, one per cent of all live births in Jamaica are to adolescent girls, many of whom reported that their pregnancy was either mistimed or unwanted.

As a result, the NFPB-SRHA is pushing the use of dual method of contraceptive for all ages, and urging everyone to take responsibility for their own sexual and reproductive health.




On a regional level, Dr Kevin Harvey, Caribbean regional director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), said for Safer Sex Week his organisation is putting the spotlight on the need to mainstream condom use to encourage persons to join the prevention efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other STDs by protecting themselves and their partners.

“Although we have made impressive gains in Jamaica and the Caribbean, our young people, particularly girls, remain at risk. We, therefore, will continue to encourage condom use, especially among this cohort, and stress that in order for us to solidify our gains and reduce the impact of this disease on the present and next generations, condoms have to always be in fashion and are the smart choice to make when engaging in sexual activity,” Harvey explained.

AHF, the largest global AIDS organisation operating in 38 countries, will be working closely with Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) and the NFPB-SRHA to undertake activities and events across the island for Safer Sex Week geared at encouraging condom use and empowering persons to take charge of their sexual and reproductive health. This will include free condom distribution.

“Condoms are always in fashion, but they are not always available, affordable or attractive. Condoms are still the most effective way to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as preventing unwanted pregnancies,” stated Terri Ford, chief of global advocacy and policy for AHF.




– BYOC (bring your own condom). Don’t rely on a partner to have condoms. Always have your own supply, and check the expiration dates before use.

– Examine genitalia. Look at your own and your partner’s genital area for any changes, including sores, discharge or unusual odours.

– Get tested and treated for STDs. Regular testing will help to reduce the risk of transmitting STDs to others.

– Have one partner at a time. Multiple partners increase your chance of getting STDs.

– Don’t use two condoms at once. Two lubricated condoms can get slippery against each other and can fall off, leaving you unprotected for both pregnancy and STDs. Use one condom plus another form of contraceptive.

– Stay sober. Drinking or using drugs lowers your ability to make good decisions and make safer choices. Staying sober will help you to keep a calm, level head at all times.

– Role-play safer-sex conversations with friends. Brainstorming strategies for dealing with difficult responses and practising what to say can help you to be more comfortable and assertive when the time comes to deal with it for real.

– Create your own list of limits and boundaries. And be firm about them with your partner

– Safer-sex practices. Make these a part of the sexual activity to increase the fun and pleasure. For example, put on male or female condoms together or for each other.

– Don’t rush into higher-risk activities. First take your time with low- or no-risk activities, which can help build trust, comfort level and communication.

– Avoid pressure. Don’t be forced into something you are not sure of or are uncomfortable doing. If your partner is forcing you to do something you do not want to do and won’t take no for an answer, get out of that relationship as quickly as possible.

– No guilt. Don’t feel bad or guilty about not wanting to do something. It is your right to refuse and to do only what you are comfortable doing.

Awareness programmes needed to reduce teen pregnancies

Awareness programmes needed to reduce teen pregnancies

Awareness programmes on sexual and reproductive health need to be stepped up to help reduce teenage pregnancies, says Women, Family and Community Develop­ment Deputy Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

She said a survey by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) showed that awareness on reproductive health was closely linked to the teenage pregnancy rate.

“Without this awareness, they do not know the consequences of engaging in sexual activity.

“The statistics and survey showed that we must expand our awareness campaign to ensure that our teenagers are informned about reproductive health.

“After that, they may feel that they do not want to try and will be aware of the consequences,” she told reporters after closing a Jiwa Muda Pekerti programme on sexual and reproductive health at SMK Lundu here yesterday.

Chew said statistics from the state Health Department showed that there were 3,707 cases of teenage pregnancy in Sarawak in 2015.

But, the figure dropped to 2,087 from January to October last year.

“I believe this is closely related to the Pekerti programme which LPPKN has carried out in Sarawak. We will also focus on hot spots where the situation is serious,” she said.

She added that Sabah and Sarawak had the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country due to a lack of awareness and know­ledge.

LPPKN deputy director-general (management) Shukur Abdullah said the agency was working with the state Education Department to identify schools with high rates of pregnancy and sexual activity.

He said LPPKN would go to these schools to conduct the awareness programmes.

In her speech earlier, Chew urged teachers and parents to break the silence on sexual and reproductive health.

“We need to educate our teena­gers about these matters.

“Having knowledge about reproductive health is very important for reducing pregnancies and sexual activity among teenagers in the country,” she said.

JKUAT Students Develop Sophie Bot Sexual Reproductive Health App

JKUAT Students Develop Sophie Bot Sexual Reproductive Health App


A group of six students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology created SophieBot, an application revolutionizing access to sexual health information in Kenya. According to a post on the JKUAT website, “Sophie is an intelligent system that is fed with verified information on sexuality and sexual reproductive health and relays the information to its users through conversations that are driven by text or voice chats. Her features include anonymous forums and digital chat bots built in on the app, Facebook, Telegram, Messenger and Twitter.”



Likened to the Artificial Intelligence Apple program Siri, Sophie Bot sources its answers from 10,000 base questions. Striving to be better with every user who signs up to the program, the SophieBot team continues to make changes to ensure it serves users better. The innovation features a chatbot where users can ask questions to Sophie. It also includes a forum where individuals could anonymously ask questions to a community of users.


The young group of passionate millennials is lead by Irving Amukusa, an undergraduate student studying Actuarial Science. He is a self-taught developer with a passion for tech. Derick Mureithi a Software developer who was ranked first runner-up in Hack4Farming by Awhere with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation holds the title of Chief Technology Officer. The team of six also includes Rashid Beduni Mwagonga, Nicholas Wambua, John Nzau Makau and the only woman on the team Beverly Mutindi, Chief Financial Officer.


Although the team has faced several challenges including funding the idea, they got their big break in 2016 when they exhibited their idea at the Nailab. According to Business Daily, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with Nailab, hosted the event. SophieBot was among the lucky 4 announced as winning innovations around sex involved in an iAccelerator programme. The app is set to demystify the sensitive subject matter of sex, sexually transmitted disease and more by giving the youth access to the information right on their phones.