When did you get the Safe Sex memo?

October 29th, 2011  |  by Veralyn Williams |  Published in Blog, Dating Chatter, Videos

After reporting on, “Safe Sex: Are you having it?”, I started to think about the first time I received the message that if I was going to have sex- it NEEDED to be safe sex. And I remember getting that memo at 10 years old, listening to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Very Necessary” album. The last track was a PSA called “I Got Aids”, and the dialogue definitely got my attention:

Cathy: I have the virus, and I don’t know what we’re gonna do… I mean, we should have used protection.

Mario: What “we’re” gonna do? What are you talking about? No, no, no…this can’t… No, this is not happening to me…

Cathy: Mario, what are you talking about? You know you’re the only one I’ve been with… You know we didn’t use protection!

Hearing that girl tell her boyfriend she contracted Aids from him let me know- even at 10- that using protection (ie: condoms) was the only way to NEVER have that conversation myself!

As I was born in Sierra Leone, but didn’t get the chance to grow up there, I was curious about what message young people there got about safe sex. So I interviewed Mariam, who was born and lived in Sierra Leone until she left to go to college in Canada.

When did you first get the memo about safe sex? What do you think about Mariam’s experience with sex ed in Sierra Leone?

Also check out: View From Abroad: Dating as an Independent Woman in Sierra Leone

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