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Panel rejects report that below 15 years are not sexually active

While the country had seen Parliament debate about the minimum age for consensual sex and many members opposing lowering of the age from 18 to 16, a parliamentary committee has said that new studies establish that assumptions that young people below 15 years are not sexually active are not accurate. It has recommended that the health ministry make appropriate provision for capturing this risk group, saying interventions for young people are necessary to address the risk of STDs, HIV and Hepatitis.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare said this in its sixty-second report on action taken by government on the recommendations contained in the committee’s 57th report on demands for grants 2012-13 of the department of AIDS control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the year 2012-13.

BSP Rajya Sabha MP Brajesh Pathak is the chairman of the committee which has another 30 members consisting from both the houses of Parliament.

The committee noted, ‘Street children for example are sexually active at a very young age. New studies also establish that assumptions that young people below 15 years are not sexually active are not accurate. Interventions for young people are necessary to address the risk of STDs, HIV and Hepatitis and the Committee recommends that the Department make appropriate provision for capturing this risk group,’ it said in the report.

The report further said, ‘The mathematical models of Estimation Projection Package (EPP)/Spectrum used for HIV Estimation are developed by WHO/UNAIDS Global Reference Group and are adopted in all countries across the world.
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