World Aids Day: Kash Meets Blair
EXCLUSIVE: MTV News's intrepid Tim Kash catches up with the PM on World Aids Day...
Earlier this week Tim Kash met Prime Minister Tony Blair to talk about the issues affecting young people in the light of World Aids Day. Here is an edited version of their conversation...
Kash: What's the key to solving the increasing rates of teen preganancy and STIs among young people in the UK?
Blair: I think the real key is education. That's about two things, educating people about sex when they are young, but also making sure that if people are sexually active that they're taking protection.
There is a big debate about this. By saying, Take protection with you - are you encouraging young people to have sex? (But) there is no point being silly about it. You should try to encourage people to be responsible. But you should recognise that if you are sexually active, its better to be sexually active and responsibly so.
Kash: Do you think the fight against HIV and AIDS would be helped if the Pope and the Vatican relaxed the ban on using condoms?
Blair: I think if all the churches and religious organizations were facing up to reality, it would be better, yeah. The danger of them not doing so is that you get people who are sexually active (or) in different circumstances, the sex trade, for example.
The danger is if we have a sort of blanket ban coming from religious hierarchy saying its wrong to do it - then you discourage people from (using protection) in circumstances where they need to, to protect their own lives.
Kash: MTV UK launched the Bare All Campaign this summer and found a lot of young girls who carry condoms feel that they give the wrong impression by carrying them? What advice would give them?
Blair: Exercise your sexuality in a responsible way. If you are sexually active then maximize your protection and minimise the chance of contracting HIV AIDS. Thats the sensible thing to do.
Kash: Was it awkward for you telling your kids about the birds and the bees? Did you leave it to Cherie?
Blair: Erm, we did it together, in that sense. Yeah, of course it makes you feel uncomfortable, but it is still important to do it. When I was growing up it was more to do with telling youngsters about the actual act of sex. Now it's telling them about the dangers of of having unprotected sex and going into the dangers where you think you are safe, when actually you are not. Because of TV and films, most kids growing up now know about sex in a biological way from a pretty early age. But its more difficult for them to realise the need to behave responsibly.
You can see the interview in full on Overdrive from 3pm today (December 1)