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DOH Aids strategy doomed to fail – bishop

MANILA, March 19, 2014— Handing out condoms, as part of the government strategy to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, will continue to be a failure, a Catholic bishop reiterated recently.

Church officials, who preach fidelity and abstinence, said, the practice only worsened the problem.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said, teaching responsible sexual behavior is the only realistic solution to the health crisis.

“It’s not [about] condoms, but change of lifestyle— abstinence and fidelity. They have not learned from the experience of Africa,” Pabillo said.

The bishop was reacting to the Department of Health’s (DOH) plan to “flood” Metro Manila with condoms to address the rise of HIV/AIDS cases in the region.

DOH data showed that every two hours, a Filipino becomes infected with HIV – a total of 13 new cases daily, with Metro Manila accounting for 50 percent of the total HIV cases in the country.

The agency added that a total of 7, 843 cases have been recorded from 1984 up to this year.

The DOH claimed that condom use is the only effective tool available in the prevention and control of the virus.

Fr. Melvin Castro of the CBCP Commission on Family and Life, however, defended the Church’s position against condoms, saying it’s been ineffective in curbing the spread of the disease.

“They (DOH) started this in February 2010, did HIV/AIDS cases decrease?” Castro said. “Is the condom the solution or a lifestyle that is according to God’s will?” (CBCPNews)