A few weeks back we had pleasure of meeting Satema of London's youth-led Reprezent radio station when she featured SH:24 on her lunchtime show. Satema was so passionate about the service, she offered to interview some of her fellow presenters for us - and then we asked her a few questions of our own! Listen to the audio and read more below..
What interested you about SH:24?
I’m very passionate, love to learn and share. I have never been shy about talking sex and STIs - some of my friends may even think I take it too far. For me, this was a great opportunity to find out about my peers attitudes towards sex. What interests me about SH:24 is that it not only provides a service that is convenient and helpful but they are trying to encourage people to have open and honest conversations about sex and sexual health.
What, if anything, surprised you about the interviews you did?
Shy, reserved, quiet; these are not words I would associate with Reprezent presenters. They are a group of loud, intelligent and opinionated individuals but when I sent out a message with the subject, 'Reprezent talks sex' - suddenly silence. This was going to be harder than I thought.
When I finally managed to persuade a few of the presenters to talk about STIs I was still surprised about how shy some of the participants were. Even to the confident people, sex is a touchy (no pun intended, honest!) subject. Another thing that never fails to surprise me are the negative perceptions relating to sexual health. It seems somehow people have got it into their minds that STIs are connected to promiscuity and that's simply not true. Anyone who is sexually active can have an STI, that's why it's so important to get tested and that's why services like SH:24 are so important.
There were also some very insightful comments from younger presenters; I really enjoyed discussing their ideas about sex education and getting tested. I think it shows what great ideas we as young people have, and I think it’s great that SH:24, a service young people can benefit massively from, are actually talking to the people they’re targeting.
What do you think can help young people manage their sexual health?
I think sexual health education is really important. I went to an all-girls school in South East London, where the teen pregnancy rates are high so we were constantly being given sex education classes. My friends and I would regularly visit the school nurse and bombard her with questions about sex - nothing was off topic. But too often I hear people say that they had no sex education in their schools, which I think is outrageous - young people are having sex and teaching them about their sexual health is something that needs to be done. Let’s be very honest, it’s a life skill! I think we need services to go into school and really teach young people about sex, sexual health and getting tested so we can get rid of the embarrassment and stigma behind it.
The audio first aired on Reprezent - The Sound of Young London.