Duterte’s condom joke ‘irresponsible,’ says Human Rights Watch
International rights watchdog Human Rights Watch took President Rodrigo Duterte to task for his latest off-color joke telling returning overseas Filipino workers to use birth control pills and not condoms as contraceptives because condoms “aren’t pleasurable.”
In a statement on Saturday, Human Rights Watch Philippines researcher Carlos Conde said it was “irresponsible for the Philippine president to downplay the importance of condoms at a time when the Philippines is experiencing the fastest growing epidemic of HIV [human immunodeficiency virus] in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Conde cited the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) as having identified condoms as one of the most cost-effective tools for preventing sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
“Policies restricting access to condoms are a threat to public health. International law obligates states to ensure access to condoms and related HIV prevention services as part of the human right to the highest attainable standard of health,” Conde said.
“Instead of criticizing condoms as a pleasure inhibitor, Duterte should take meaningful action to protect the health of Filipinos by backing urgently needed policy changes to expand the accessibility and use of condoms in the Philippines,” Conde said. /atm
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