As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, lifestyle change and not the use of condoms and other forms of contraceptives can curb the rising cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Metro Manila.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) officials on Tuesday deplored the Department of Health (DOH) for distributing boxes of condoms in entertainment hubs in Quezon City, which happens to have the most number of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDs) patients.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Manila and chair of the Episcopal Commission on Social Action of the CBCP, said that condoms are not the solution to curb the HIV cases, but the change of lifestyle.
He added that the HIV disease can be avoided if the people will remain faithful to their partners, and they will abstain from having sex.
“Condom is not the solution to HIV, but the change of lifestyle—abstinence and fidelity,” he said.
Further, Pabillo lambasted the government’s sex education and the loose morals in the media that had “promoted promiscuity.”
“These are the fertile ground of HIV,” he added.
Recently, Health Undersecretary Ted Herbosa said that the DOH will be “flooding” Metro Manila with condoms if it is the only way they can prevent the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.
“It is a critical and the only effective element in the prevention and control of the disease and available tool in reducing the transmission of sexual infections and diseases,” Herbosa said.
To achieve an “HIV free city,” the DOH partnered with the Quezon City government and various commercial establishments.
A box of condoms and flyers containing essential information about HIV/AIDS placed either at the front desk or entrance of the establishments for customers.
During Valentine’s Day, the DOH has distributed condoms in some areas in Manila, reminding couples “to have a safe Valentine’s Day.”
Meanwhile, Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, noted that the DOH campaign does not help curbing the HIV cases.
“Did the HIV cases decreased?” he said.
Citing DOH record, Castro said majority of HIV cases are in MMS or men having sex with other men, which condoms do not help in any way.
“Now, is it condom the solution? Or the lifestyle of a person, following the teachings of God,” he added.
DOH data revealed that one Filipino becomes infected with HIV every two hours, which translated to 13 new cases daily, with the National Capital Region (NCR) accounting for 50 percent of the total HIV cases in the country.