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Ubial lashes out at opponents of condom-giving in schools

/ 11:50 AM January 17, 2017
Paulyn Ubial

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial encourages the use of condom to stop the spread of HIV during press briefing in Paranaque City. PDI Photo / Richard A. Reyes

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial took to social media to lash out at critics of the health department’s plan to distribute condoms in schools as part of its drive to prevent the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus.

In tweets posted on her Twitter account on Monday night, the health secretary called on those opposing the department’s plan to distribute condoms in schools not to impose their beliefs on others.

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“Our call on oppositors: Do not impose your beliefs on others!” Ubial said in her @Dok_Pau Twitter account.

The statement was in reference to the objections of several sectors to the Department of Health’s plan to distribute condoms in schools as part of its anti-HIV prevention drive.

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The plan was disclosed late last year as part of its “business unusual” strategy to combat the HIV epidemic, which is also affecting the Filipino youth.

However, this met with criticism from the Catholic Church, whose leaders argued that such a move will only promote promiscuity among the youth.

READ: CBCP: Giving out condoms promotes immorality, won’t prevent AIDS | CBCP exec: Many persons with HIV/AIDS come from broken families

Ubial challenged the critics of the DOH’s plan to come up with options to preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among the youth.

“My question to those who oppose: if you have better ideas in reducing STIs among the youth, then let’s hear it. Give us your options!” she said.

The DOH secretary did not name any individual or organization as the “oppositors” she was referring to, although the Catholic Church has been vocal against the idea.

She added that Filipinos should be allowed to practice safe sex “according to their own beliefs and consciences.”

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Contrary to popular opinion, “condoms will not be given like candies” and it “will be done with very close supervision and counseling.”

READ: Sotto on giving condoms: Crime to encourage sex among students

Ubial explained that the DOH has studied possibilities and studies all over the world, which showed that condoms did not promote promiscuity.

“In fact it made those sexually active teens more cautious and knowledgeable of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and STIs, including HIV, thus they became more careful,” she stressed.

The DOH secretary maintained that they primarily promote abstinence and the delay of one’s sexual debut, as well as saying no to premarital sex.

“If that cannot happen, be faithful to your partners. If that cannot be followed, use condom,” said Ubial.

She added that the DOH will uphold strategies that will promote health, protect people from disease while ensuring the enjoyment of their rights and freedom under the Constitution.

“As long as it is scientifically effective and safe, legally acceptable, not abortifacient according to individual concerns and informed choice, we will implement it,” Ubial said. CBB/rga

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TAGS: AIDS, Condoms, Department of Health, DepEd, HIV, news, Paulyn Ubial, Twitter
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