SEX is beautiful. I know that’s a controversial thing to say when for so many in our country it has proved a death sentence. This message counters the current one of doom — that sex is dangerous and can kill. Which, obviously, it can and it certainly does. But despite high-profile campaigns pleading for abstinence, condom use and faithfulness, new research shows the message doesn’t seem to be getting through. The 15 to 24 age group has a high awareness of HIV/Aids yet high-risk sex continues unabated. The age of first sexual encounters is low, having multiple sexual partners is common, and inconsistent use of condoms is widespread among our youth. What this indicates is a lack of self-esteem. Youngsters who value themselves are less likely to knowingly put their lives — and others’ — at risk.