PAS DE DISTRIBUTION ... DE CONDOMS !
DA Catholic Church official on Monday warned the Department of Health (DOH) against distributing condoms to couples on Valentine’s Day, saying this may further increase the risk of Filipinos contracting Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
"We should (instead) impart the right message to the people particularly the youth which is faithfulness within the marriage or if they are not yet married, total abstention," said Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Commission on Family and Life, said in an article posted on the CBCP news site.
He said giving out free condoms, like what the DOH did last year, would only send the wrong message especially to the youth that it is all right to engage in pre-marital sex as long as it is “safe and protected."
“We have to insist on that because the ultimate solution to that (HIV/AIDs) is not the use of condom, not promoting the so-called safe sex because it will just be a part of deception on the part of promoters," Castro said.
Last year, the Church assailed then Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral for giving away condoms during Valentine’s Day. Cabral defended the move, saying it was done to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Castro said increasing the rates of voluntary testing for HIV is critical to overcome the pandemic in the country. He said it would be better if people who have an "active" lifestyle to subject themselves to the test “so they’ll be aware if they are already a carrier of HIV."
The CBCP said recent DOH data revealed that 174 new HIV cases were confirmed in December 2010, the highest number of cases reported in a month since 1984, bringing the total number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country to 6,015.