Hardly has the nation had time to take in the shocking news of great numbers of secondary school pupils engendering the genocide ideology, when another bombshell has been unleashed on the public. Results of a survey conducted at the National University of Rwanda about condom use have revealed that a big number of students there prefer having unprotected sex to using condoms.
Of all irresponsible kinds of behaviour, this one beats them all. Even when one was to indulge in assumptions, university students are not your ordinary man or woman in the street; they are supposed to be knowledgeable about a wide range of social issues, including health.
As indeed the report shows, the majority of the undergraduates – 80 per cent of the respondents anyway – are knowledgeable about the manner in which HIV/Aids is transmitted. (One would even say that the remaining 20 per cent who profess ignorance about HIV/ Aids do not have any reason to be where they are now, given that they should have gone through social settings that must have had some form of Aids awareness campaign or another.)
The results of the study beg so many questions: What kind of youths are we dealing with here? Does being young entail being reckless? What kind of example can these supposed cream of the young intelligentsia be to the other not-so-lucky, or big enough young ones, to make better informed decisions?
There are some daredevil antics that young people love to engage in; they are still young and their hormones at that time are inciting them to acts that will set them apart and get them special recognition. But HIV/ Aids is not the kind of disease that one can dare.
There is no doubt that the only nearly-sure way of avoiding contracting the HIV virus is by travelling the straight and narrow road of upright behaviour. So behavioural change is not just an empty phrase to hurl about to impress listeners; it is the only sure way we can take charge of our own lives.
Without sounding callous, if HIV/ Aids wasn’t such a social disease, one would leave it to these learned-but-not-so-educated fellows to sort it out themselves. But being irresponsible enough to dare it, so can they be active in infecting others with it. So let’s help them all against themselves.