Stories of casual flings and having sponsors no longer comes as a shock and it is becoming, again arguably, somewhat acceptable within the society.
A good majority of such relationships are usually sexual with reasons for Kenyans getting into them varying; from supporting a particular type of lifestyle to simply not wanting to be committed and at the same time satisfying their sexual needs.
Previous studies have revealed that young and unmarried women and men are more likely than older and married ones to report risky sexual behavior.
With such types of relationships on the rise however comes the concern of whether Kenyans are aware of some of the possible health risks that come with getting into such relationships. For instance contracting HIV.
These are some of the risky sexual relationships that Kenyans are getting into.
Friends with benefits/ Situationships
Situationships can basically be defined as having all the benefits of a relationship such as sex without defining the relationship. There’s no deep conversation of whether the both of you will have something more serious in the future.
The fact that this person is your friend and you trust your friend, you won’t really think too much into finding out about their HIV status or how many sexual partners they may have had in the past.
If you are HIV negative and having unprotected sex with a person(s) whose HIV status you do not know, then you are at risk of getting infected and should consider asking your provider about starting on PrEP.
Such types of sexual relationships are most of the time transactional as well. Young Kenyans, especially women, will, willingly, regularly have sex with older men or women and in exchange be provided with a particular type of lifestyle such as receiving large sums of money.
Young Kenyans getting into these relationships may get overly excited at the fact that they are receiving a lot of money or are now catering for a lifestyle that they would take years to afford so much so that they may overlook their partner’s sexual history.
Their partner may have other young women or men they may be sleeping with at the same time and those young women and men may be sleeping with other people. You get the drift.
Sleeping with a married man/woman
Borrowing a bit from the sponsorship type of relationships, some of the older men and women are usually married.
In such cases, the married men or women may contract an infection from one person and unknowingly transfer it to their wives or husbands.
If left untreated, infections such as Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea may put someone at risk of contracting HIV. These may cause a change in the tissue of the vagina or penis thus making it easier for the HIV virus to be transmitted during sex.
We have all probably heard of the term serial dater.
Relationships of a serial dater usually don’t last that long, probably a few months hence the name.
The short term relationships don’t really give someone enough time to get to know their partner and their sexual history.
You may find that they may have just been getting to know each other and may have already had sex without knowing each other’s statuses.
Before even getting to know their statuses you’ll find that they have already broken up and moved on to someone else within a short period of time.
The more sexual partners you have, the more you put yourself at risk of contracting HIV – more so if you are unaware of your partner’s HIV status and you do not use condoms.
One- night stands
You meet someone at the bar, the drinks are flowing and there’s an undeniable sexual connection between the two of you.
One thing leads to another and you find yourself in a stranger’s bed the next morning. You’re not sure whether you used protection the previous night or even remember the person’s name.
You get past that night and swear not to do it again but the very next weekend, you’re back in the same spot. That’s simply what a one night stand is.
Looking at such risky sexual relationships from a different angle other than just having fun definitely puts some perspective into the various dangers that Kenyans may be putting themselves in and it is always better to be safe than sorry at the end of it all.
Research has shown that the use of PrEP among HIV negative persons has been successful in preventing HIV infection by over 90 percent. PrEP is a pill that is taken daily by people who are HIV negative but at a high risk of contracting HIV.
So get to know your HIV status and understand your sexual risk so that you can plan on how to protect yourself from HIV infection.
Do you think that you’re at risk of contracting HIV? Find out more about PrEP, here, to stay protected.