Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bishop says condoms not effective against HIV/AIDS


Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — Statistics showing an increase in the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Metro Manila prove that giving away condoms is not the solution to the problem, which can be reduced only through lifestyle change, including abstinence from sex outside of marriage, two members of the Roman Catholic clergy said Tuesday.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the government has been giving away condoms but this did not put a dent on the rising prevalence of the disease in the country.

“The solution is not condoms but change of lifestyle, abstinence and fidelity. They have not learned from the experience of Africa,” Pabillo told reporters. “Sex education of the government and loose morals in the media promote promiscuity and these are fertile grounds of HIV.”

Pabillo was commenting on a new campaign launched by the Department of Health’s Metro Manila regional office to distribute condoms along with flyers on safe sex in massage parlors, nightclubs and KTV bars.

Based on the figures cited by the DOH, a Filipino becomes infected with HIV/AIDS every two hours, resulting in 13 new cases daily, with half of the total cases in the country occurring in Metro Manila.

Quezon City registered the highest number of cases in the capital last January, with 54 asymptomatic and six confirmed AIDS cases.

“Figures from the Department of Health will show that most of the HIV cases are men having sex with men,” Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, told reporters in a separate interview. “Is condom the solution or is it a change in lifestyle according to the will of God?”

Castro noted that the Catholic Church has continued to oppose any government activity involving the distribution of condoms and other contraceptives. “The government gave away free condoms on Feb. 14, 2010. Did the HIV/AIDS cases go down?” he said.

The Catholic Church remains firm in its stand against the controversial reproductive health (RH) law, which was signed by President Aquino in December 2012 but whose implementation has been halted by the Supreme Court pending a ruling on its constitutionality.

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