But condoms aren’t the DOH’s first option. In fact, they believe that abstinence and being faithful to your partner are the best ways to avoid getting HIV/AIDS. The DOH only recommends the use of condoms when a sexually active individual can’t adhere to the mentioned practices.
Health officials also previously dismissed the notion that they were apparently sending the wrong message by promoting the public to become more sexually active with this program.
They clarified that they would only give condoms to sexually active individuals who ask for it.
Despite their explanation, the Department of Education (DepEd) that was supposed to be the implementing arm for the condom program said it will not support it.
This comes at a time when the country is considered to have the highest growth rate of HIV/AIDS infections in the Asia-Pacific region, with a 140-percent increase of new cases in the past six years.
Data shows that in 2016 alone, there are already over 10,000 cases of HIV transmissions within the 15 – 24 age group mainly due to unprotected sex.
There’s also a projected rising trend of HIV cases in the country especially in May where a record 1,098 new cases were recorded by DOH along with 15 deaths.
With the discontinuation of the condom distribution program, Ubial said the health department, in coordination with the DepEd will instead turn to intensified sexuality education programs aimed to address the country’s worsening HIV/AIDS dilemma.