Singapore

Make sex education a must to help lower HIV cases

From Reader Eunice Li Dan Yue

It is alarming that there were 456 new cases of HIV reported among Singapore residents in 2014. Of these, 91 were patients below the age of 30 and seven were teens ("AFA: Patients below 30 on the rise", The New Paper, March 21).

One patient said he caught the virus by having unprotected sex with several partners.

The rise in HIV cases here implies that our young people lack proper safe sex education.

This subject is still taboo and most parents do not talk about it.

I suggest our secondary schools have compulsory sex education classes to teach the importance of safe sex.

Overseas research shows that well-designed and well-implemented HIV/STD (sexually transmitted disease) prevention programmes can significantly reduce risky sexual behaviour among teenagers.

Such programmescan achieve a delay in their first sexual intercourse, a reduction in the number of sex partners and a rise in contraceptive use. Schools should also educate their students about STDs.

Parents have a critical part to play. I believe teens who have a close bonds with their parents are less likely to have sex at a young age, or have frequent sex.

Schools can give assignments on HIV-related topics where students must work with parents, thus helping to strengthen the relationship.

Hopefully, when our schools and parents work together, the number of young people contracting the deadly virus can be reduced significantly.

Construction materials required to meet prescribed standards

The report, "Confessions of a concrete truck driver" (The New Paper on Sunday, March 13) highlighted work practices at construction sites that affect the quality of concrete for construction.

Buildings are required to be constructed with materials that comply with the standards under the Building Control Regulations.

It is a requirement for appropriate tests to be conducted on construction materials such as concrete to ensure that these materials meet the prescribed standards to ensure structural safety and integrity.

The Professional Engineer of the project and site supervisors must supervise all building works to ensure that buildings are constructed according to the approved plans, including ensuring that construction materials that will be used are tested to comply with the prescribed standards.

The Building & Construction Authority (BCA) takes a serious view of noncompliance of building regulations and will take enforcement actions against the parties responsible where appropriate.

BCA is currently investigating this matter.

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