Straight Talk, July 2008
The science of PEP
Masaka students ask about condoms
In June, Straight Talk received many condom questions from Kizza Memorial School, Masaka. Thequestions were real and relevant so we put them to you, the readers. Thank you, guys, wereceived 102 great letters from you. You all win prizes, including pads for every girl who wrote in. Remember, knowing about condoms does not mean you have to start sex. Get the knowledge andwhen the right time comes, you will know what to do.
demonstrateshow to use acondom.
Yes, not only do condoms prevent pregnancy, they also stop HIV if used correctly. Use a new condom for each round.
G Bwambale, S4,Rwensori HS, Busia
Yes, if condoms are usedconsistently and correctly andinstructions followed, they can prevent HIV and pregnancy.
Betty D, Metu SS, Moyo
Is it true that if you have sex in the first round with a condom and thesecond round without, you cannotget pregnant?
No! You can definitely get pregnant!The first ejaculation is the same asthe second and the third. If you'renot wearing a condom, the girl canget pregnant.
Deusdedit Manira-gaba, St Paul'sSeminary, Kabale
No, it is not true. The sperm never stop coming out or beingmanufactured. Fertilisation canhappen.
Nafula EM, S3,Dabani
Post Exposure Prophylaxis(PEP) is an exciting medicaladvance. In the past, femaleswho were raped just had to pray that they did not get HIV. Now there is medicinethey can take.
But rape survivors should take PEPwithin 24 hours of being raped.After 72 hours PEP has much lesssuccess in stopping the HIV.
What is PEP?
PEP is a four week course of antiretroviraltablets (ARVs).ARVs are themedicines thatpeople who haveHIV take to controlthe virus. In thecase of PEP, theARVs can stop HIV from entering yourbody's cells, multiply-ing and "taking root"."When HIV entersthe body it needs anenzyme to startreproducing insideour cells," says DrStephen Watiti of Mildmay. "PEP blocksthat enzyme.""Sometimes we giveyou two drugs. But if the chance is very high that the rapisthad HIV, we may giveyou three drugs."
Do not waste time
If you have been raped and need PEP,the doctor will first test you for HIV. If you test HIV-negative you will receivePEP. If possible the accused rapist willalso be tested.
Says Dr Watiti: "Unfortu-nately, rape survivors waste valuabletime by first going to LCs and police.Make sure you start on PEP, then beginthe legal process. Alongside ARVs, youmay be given emergency family plan-ning to stop preg-nancy."
You have a right to PEP: PEP is free
All rape and defilementsurvivors, boys in-cluded, are entitled tofree PEP treatment atany of the 279 centresthat offer ARVs inUganda. There shouldbe one near you.Dr Betty Kasanka is aSenior Medical Officerat the Ministry of Health.She says: "If you areraped, PEP treatment isyour first priority."PEP is new so healthworkers are being sensitised on it. If youfind a health workerwho is not familiar withPEP, Dr Kasanka advisesyou to persist until youreceive treatment.Dr Kasanka confirms:"PEP is free for rapesurvivors."
side and the other leg the other side. Then with two fingers, sheremoves the condom from thevagina.
RJ Rubongoya,Kahungabunyonyi PS, Fort Portal
What can be done if a condomremains in the girl's vagina?
When a condom is not used for thesecond round, a girl can get pregnant. The sperm can still be flowing from the urethra. Usecondoms for all rounds.
Iyundhu A, Bukoyo SS, Iganga
Please note. Some StraightTalkers thought that a condomcould move inside the girl and thatshe would need an operation toget it out. That is false. But what istrue is that the girl will have beenexposed to HIV and semen spilt from the condom. She can get pregnant and infected.
knows that many girls leave school due to pregnancy. Others die after aborting. Clearly someyoung people are having sex. If you are sexually active, never have unprotected sex. Test for HIV with your partner. Girls who are sexually active also need family planning like pills or injections.
HOW TO USE A CONDOM
•Be serious. Focus withyour partner toensure correctuse.•Check theexpiry date.•Feel if thecondom pack is air tight.Have more than onecondom.•Have the packet nearby.•Open it from the corner.Avoid biting or pricking it.•Hold the tip of the condomto leave space for semen.•Roll the condom to thebottom of the penis. Now you can have sex.•After sex, withdraw thepenis when the penis isstill erect. Hold thecondom carefully to avoidspilling the semen.•Wrap the used condom inpaper and burn it. Or youcan throw it into a latrine.
You do not have to get infected with HIV if raped. You can take PEP. PEP works best when given within 24 hours of therape. You can get PEP from Naguru Teenage Centre, Mildmay, GuluReferral Hospital and the 279 sites that offer ARVs in Uganda.