Website overturns taboo for teenagers
(MENG YAN, China Daily staff)
A sexual health website targetting young people - believed to be a first in China - was launched yesterday in Beijing.
The interactive website, www.youandme.net.cn, was unveiled on World Population Day at Renmin University of China.
Supported by the non-profit Marie Stopes International China (MSIC), it encourages young people to openly discuss love, sex, health and responsibility, said Sang Qing, designer of the website.
It is first of its kind in China, Sang said.
At the launch, Siri Tellier, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative to China, said the website will not only share information on sexual issues but also "allow young people to connect with each other even across the national borders." She urged parents and other adults to help in this process.
Young people need more information and services to improve their awareness of sexual health, Tellier said.
"Although young people in general are healthier than other age groups, they have specific risks that are related to their behaviour," she said.
The risks included unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
"Many of the risks can be avoided if the young people have the knowledge and services to make wise choices," Tellier said.
However, most Chinese young people have little access to reliable and accurate information on sex due to traditional sensitivities about the issue.
"I can only get limited information (on sexual issues) even though I think it is important for the rest of my life," said a freshman at the university, who only gave her family name as Yang.
Yesterday's event was jointly sponsored by UNFPA, the United Nations Children's Fund, MSIC, Luxembourg Embassy and the Renmin University of China.
(HK Edition 07/11/2003 page2)