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Vol 14 No 2 Feb-Mar 2012

Your changing body
ost of you write to Young Talk about body changes. Some are confused and worried of what to do when you get body changes. Others want to know why their bodies have not started changing.

pain during menstruation. A friend advised her to have sex with a boy to stop the pain.”

Logose Sarah, 11, of Namirembe Boarding PS in Budaka says: “My friend feels

You may be having the same worries. Sex does NOT stop the pains girls get during menstruation or make any part of your body grow. According to Dr Alex Kakoraki, Murchison Bay Hospital, Kampala, between the age of 8 and 16 you go through puberty. At this time, your body changes physically, emotionally and mentally from a child into a young adult. Everyone starts puberty on his or her own time. This is why some of you start menstruating or developing pubic hair before others. Your bodies are different and they grow at a different speed. The brain produces messengers called hormones to tell your body when and how to grow.

Body Changes
N. Mohamed, 13, P7, Home Care PS in Kabale is worried. He says: “My penis is very small. Friends say I will not produce when I grow up. They advised me to have sex, for the penis to grow big. Is it okay?”
Pupils of Kigandalo PS, Mayuge say: “We feel good about body changes. They are natural and normal.”
Girls Breasts Menstruation Pubic Hair Pimples Sexual feelings Boys Wet dreams Frequent erections Voice deepens. Pubic hair Sexual feelings


Is it true that if a person living with the HIV virus changes their blood and gets blood which is not infected, the virus can be cured? ” Salama Sebanno, 14, Salama School for the Blind, Mukono. There is NO cure for HIV. If the virus is in the body, it cannot be removed even if non infected blood is introduced in the body. It is impossible to remove all the blood out of the body. HIV can only be reduced in the body by ARVs but it cannot be cured. HIV lives in semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and bone marrow. Doctors can’t replace all the body fluids where the virus lives. Dr Paul Semugoma, International Hospital Kampala


th Help pupils to deal wi body changes safely

n Have the right informatio th on puberty and share it wi lk your pupils. Use Young Ta anges. to discuss body ch Identify doctors, counselur ors, parents to talk to yo ful of your pupils. Be mind out language when talking ab words body changes. Avoid s. that may stigmatize pupil Encourage every pupil to participate.

Head teachers please encourage your pupils to write to Young Talk, PO Box 22366, Kampala

Nandamire PS in Bulisa and Guiding Star PS, Kampala sent over 100 letters to Young Talk. Congs, you win footballs and netballs.



Young Talk, February - March 2012

Get the right information
You can learn about body changes from TV, radio, news papers, telephone messages, your friends, parents and guardians. But sometimes, the information you get may not be true. around your private part is not a sign to start sex.
Wrong information will mislead you to make wrong decisions. When you are not sure about anything you hear, see or read, talk to an adult you trust or health workers just like Judith and Ashraf. Beware of wrong information:

“My friends say, there are herbs which girls use to develop breasts. When I talked to my mother, She explained that there are hormones inside our bodies which tell your breasts when and how to grow during puberty.”

Biira Judith, 14, P7, Kyando Education Center, Kasese

Katuramu Ashraf, 14, P7, Lugazi Umea PS, Buikwe says, “My

friends say when a caterpillar passes around your private parts you grow pubic hair. When I asked our teacher, she explained that during puberty, hormones tell the hair to grow around our private parts and under armpits.”

The skin under the armpit is very delicate. The hair under the armpit and pubic hair holds sweat and other secretions away from the sensitive skin. Developing hair

Pupils of Buluba PS, Mayuge say: “It is cool not to have early sex.”

P7, Winn & Joan Prep. Bugiri.

she is ready for sex? Margret Awori, 14,

My friends say if a girl develops big breasts,

I was scared when I found white sticky, things on my bed sheets. My friends said I had grown into a man and ready for sex. Is it true? Joseph Oldo, 13, Busia Boarder PS,

My friend h as not developed hips, at 14 years. Frien ds tell her to have se x frequentl y with a boy to develop the hips. Is it true? Amongin B renda, 12, Bright Star PS, Kumi.

Margaret, Joseph and Brenda, None of the body Changes is a sign to have sex

Learn to love yourself


s your body changes, you may feel bad and moody. Friends may bully or laugh at you like:

“I am the tallest boy in P6 . Friends laugh at me th at I have over grown.”

Adikini J, 13, P6, M uto PS Mpigi who says,

no Body changes are ask an adult, have sex. Always rmation. for the right info

KEY MESSAtGE: n to a sig

Know your body: Testicles
Adikini, talk to someone about it. Elizabeth Okello, a teacher at Gayaza High School says:

One of my testicles hangs lower than the other. What should I do? Magumba Siyabi, 13, P7, Nissi Nur PS, Bugiri. Don’t worry. The two testicles don’t hang at the same level. One hangs lower than the other. Testicles are round parts of the body just behind the penis. They hang out in a soft bag of the skin called the scrotum. But if you feel any pain, swelling or lumps in your testicles, talk to your parents to take you to the nearest hospital for treatment. Counsellor: Dr Paul Semugoma, International Hospital Kampala

“Learn to love yourself! Think about the things you like about yourself or the way you look. This will help you not to care much about what others think about you. Puberty doesn’t last forever. Soon you will be through it. Your parents, guardians, teachers all went through it. Talk to them about how they managed body changes.


Young Talk, February - March 2012

Young talkers share their experiences on body changes
“I was at the bore hole drawing water when I had my first period. When my friends saw blood on my dress, they said I had got a disease. I got scared.” Katusiime Agatha, 14, P6, Nyakanyima PS, Rukungiri


“I have pimples. My friend told to me to use tooth paste to treat them. Is it okay?” Selina Lomongin, 16, P7, Moroto PS.

Breasts size

Agatha, menstruation is not a disease. It happens to every woman. It is normal and natural. Menstruation happens when a girl’s body releases, blood from her womb through the vagina. The blood flows slowly and continues for 4-7 days. Girls start getting menstrual period between the ages of 10 -15. Some may start earlier or later. Everyone has their own time of starting.

“My friend has smaller breasts. A boy told her to have sex for the breasts to grow big.” Iracha Durine, 16, Mada PS, Zombo.

No, tooth paste does not cure pimples. It cleans and protects teeth from decay. Wash your face twice a day, using soap and clean water to remove excess oils and to keep your pores clean and open. During puberty, some people get pimples but they will go after sometime. Do not squeeze, pimples.

No, sex does NOT make breasts grow big. During puberty, a hormone called estrogen is produced in the girl’s body. This hormone tells your breasts to grow. You cannot speed up or slow down breast growth. Remember, any size of the breasts is healthy and normal.

Body smell:

“Iam not worried of body changes. It is part of growth,” Nakilijja Phiona,11, P5, St Mulumba PS, Mayuge

“My friend has a bad smell. She washes her body every day, but the smell does not stop.” Amanya Peruth, 13, P6, Little stars, PS, Bushenyi

Changing voice
“My voice is growing deep and becomes soft. What is the matter?” Lukwago Lulent, 14, P7, St Matia Mulumba Boarding PS, Mityana

During puberty hormones cause your body to sweat. When the sweat dries, your body starts to smell. Tell your friend to shave, keep her clothes clean and bathe at least twice a day. She can bathe using local herbs like Ebbombo (luganda). Ask your parents, elders, for local herbs in your area that stop this smell. She can also talk to her parents to buy her a deodorant, to use in the armpits to stop the smell.

Wet dreams:
“One morning I got a whitish sticky discharge on my clothes. My friends advised me to have sex to stop it. I am I okay?” Joseph Oldo, 12, Busia Border PS,

What is happening to you is very normal. Don’t worry, it is normal for your voice to become lower and deeper. It is caused by a hormone called testosterone which tells your voice to grow deep.

Joseph, you had a wet dream. This is when semen is released from the penis while a boy is a sleep. Semen is a milky sticky fluid. It contains sperms. Wet dreams happen naturally during adolescence. As you grow it will stop. Sex does not stop you from getting wet dreams but exposes you to HIV/STDs.

Early sex causes Cervical cancer:
What is cervical cancer? Apio Jane, 15, P7 Lira PS
Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Dr Sabrina Kitaka from Mulago hospital says cervical cancer mostly affects women who are above 40 years. HPV is spread through sex with a partner who has the virus. The virus also lives in the saliva and can be spread through kissing. The most common symptoms are vaginal bleeding after sex, excessive bleeding between menstruations, smelly vaginal discharge, continuous lower abnominal pain and backaches, failure or difficulty in controlling urine and faeces. If you have any of these signs, go for testing from a hospital near you. Encourage your friends, sisters, aunties and mothers to go for testing at least once a year. Cancer of the cervix can be treated and cured if detected early.

Prevention: There is a vaccine

given to girls who are 9-26 years, to prevent them from getting the virus. Ask your parents or guardians to take you for vaccination at Mulago hospital. Even if you are vaccinated, delay sex to avoid HIV/STDs, early pregnancy and focus on your studies for a better future.


Young Talk, February - March 2012

Young Talk

before you do it. Stay focused, work hard. Remember, good things come to those who wait to get them at the right time!
If a girl has sex with 3 men can the three impregnate her at the same time? Nkesiga Nichorous, 15, P7, All Saints PS, Rubirizi

P.O.Box 22366 Kampala

I like school but I have no one to pay my fees. I am an orphan. What can I do? NS, St Jude PS, Tororo

NS, it must be a tough time for you but do not lose hope. It is good that you are interested in school. Talk to your LCs, head teacher, relatives and organizations in your community that support orphans. You can also do some work like slashing people’s compounds or washing their cars at your free time to raise money.
Why are People Living with HIV/AIDS treated on ARVS? Sibolo Emmy, Namirembe Boarding PS, Budaka

“Time wasted can not be recovered. Behave responsibly.” Pupils of Good Samaritan PS, Kampala
Is it true that dry cough is a sign of HIV. Alinda Esther, Masindi Town Model How can young people be helped to avoid something for something love? Girl , 14, P7, University Hill PS, Mukono

Emmy, Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) do not cure HIV but reduce the virus in the body. This helps people living with HIV to feel well, healthy and strong and to continue doing their work without falling sick. When HIV is in our bodies, it attacks white blood cells that fight disease. After years, a person not taking ARVs may start getting sickly.

Do you have a dry cough? How long have you been coughing? Dry cough is not a sign of HIV. Even people, who look healthy and do not have cough, can have HIV. The only way to know whether you have HIV or not, is by testing for HIV. If you have dry cough, go to the nearest hospital for TB test and treatment. TB can be cured.

Are you seeing young people doing something for something love in your community? That is very dangerous. Something for something love can lead to early pregnancy or expose you to HIV/STDs.Value yourself. Be happy with what you have. Say NO to gifts that you have not worked for. Think about the consequences of everything

Do you know anyone who doing this? This is very dangerous. Pregnancy happens when the girl’s egg (ovum) is fertilized. When fertilization takes place, the egg will build a tough cover on the egg, preventing any other sperms from entering. Only one sperm from one man can fertilize the egg. The rest of the sperms from other men will be absorbed by the body. Sex with more than one partner puts your life at risk. Early sex leads to STDs/ HIV, pregnancy, drop out of school.
By Dr Paul Semugoma, IHK Dr Alex Kakoraci, Murchision Bay Hospital Luzira

Do you watch TV, read newspapers and listen to radios? Tell us the good and bad things about watching TV, reading newspapers, magazines and listening to radio. Good stories WIN mathematical Sets. Write to Young Talk PO Box, 22366, Kampala

Pupils of Ngora School for the deaf are staying safe by abstaining from sex

Advice to AC
In Sept- Oct 2011, AC from Abongu PS, Nebbi said, “My teacher demands for sex from me. When I reported him to the head teacher and my guardian, they did not help me. What can I do?” We received over 50 letters, advising AC. Thank you for the good advice. is defilement. Report your teacher to the police.” Bedogawa Ozala, 14, P7, Katende PS, said, “Talk to a trusted adult, who can talk to your guardian about that teacher.” Mwesigye William, 13, P6, Nyakashenyi PS, Rukungiri, said, “Report the case to the district child protection office, they will talk to your head teacher and guardian.”

“There is a boy in our class who forces me to carry his books. When I report him to the teacher he denies. He is threatening to beat me. What can I do?” PJ, 13, P6, Mpumu PS, Mukono

Namubiru Aisha, 16, P7, Troas PS, Jinja, says “That

Straight Talk Foundation 4 Acacia Avenue, Kololo, PO Box 22366, Kampala, Tel: 031-262030/1, E-mail:, Executive Director: S Ajok Print Director: T Agutu, Editorial Manager: M Akello, Editors: P Kiwuuwa, F Ouma, J Abongowath, J Nafula Designed by: Nakku Carolyne

Funded by Civil Society Fund

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