40 percent Indians embarrassed to ask for contraceptives

New Delhi : As many as 40 percent Indians are embarrassed to ask for contraceptives, said a global survey released Monday.

The survey added that despite campaigns to promote safe sex, nearly three-quarters of sexually active people globally don’t use them.

Also, it stated that 32 percent of Indians said they were not at the risk of pregnancy.

The survey, which also covered India, said that 72 percent don’t use a contraceptive with a new partner, putting them at high risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Unplanned pregnancies emerge as a major global concern, particularly among the young, said the survey titled “Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be Informed about Contraception”.

It said that worldwide approximately 41 percent of the 208 million pregnancies each year are unintended.

“Lack of right information on contraception, leading to non-use or inaccurate use, is a huge issue in India,” says Vishwanath Koliwad, secretary general of the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI).

“Both men and women need to take family planning seriously and should share the responsibility of making informed choices,” he said.

In countries like Australia, Chile, Colombia, Britain, Indonesia, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Sweden and Turkey, nearly 40 percent people have already had unprotected sex with a new partner.

This figure rises to over 50 percent in China, Estonia, Kenya, Norway and Thailand.

“It shows that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health or do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception,” says Rajat Ray, chairperson of Public Awareness Committee, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI).

“…Or they have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs,” he says.

According to experts, the figures reflect low information on contraception.

Sixteen percent in Asia Pacific said their partner preferred not to use contraceptives.

Asked why they had had unprotected sex with a new partner, 15 percent of respondents across Asia Pacific and 14 percent in Europe said they did not like contraception.

The survey is a multi-national survey sponsored by Bayer Health Care, an international healthcare major.

It is supported by the WCD Youth Task Force and a coalition of 11 international organisations with interest in sexual health.

The survey was conducted in 26 countries and 5,426 young people in Asia Pacific including India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan and Taiwan as well as Europe, Latin America and the US as well as 600 people in Egypt, Kenya and Uganda.


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