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January 10, 2008

In Nepal, Frank Sex Talk on the Radio

A radio program in Nepal has confronted the country’s social taboos against frank talk about sexuality, offering safe-sex advice to young people and information on HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports (reuters.com, 1/9).

The program, “Chatting With My Best Friend,” had previously been confined to only a few towns, but it has been expanded to cover much of the nation. Binayak Aryal, the producer of the hour-long program, said that it originally received letters of complaint about the program’s discussion of condoms, sex and sexual organs.

“Now there is a change,” said Aryal. “Even parents and school teachers advise the young people to listen to the program about sexual health.”

Nepal has long held a conservative attitude toward sex, with many people lacking information about HIV/AIDS because of the heavy stigma that surrounds it. Homosexuality is considered “unnatural sex” by law, and can land a person in jail for up to one year. Reuters reports that about 70,000 of Nepal’s 26.4 million people are living with HIV.


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