In the U.S., high school students are often given contraceptive items in addition to STD prevention pamphlets after they have undergone a class or workshop on $ex education.
Contraceptive items are also given out for free at all local city or county public health departments in America. However, in the Southeast Asian nation of The Philippines, contraceptive items will not be given out to high school students during $ex education classes after a federal ban on distributing them was recently upheld.
According to HumanRightsWatch.org, the The Philippine Department of Education (PDE) recently rejected a proposal by HIV prevention advocates in The Philippines to distribute contraceptive items to high school students. Carlos Conde, a researcher for Humans Rights Watch wrote the following about this issue in a news article, which was published February 2nd:
“The Philippine Department of Education this week rejected a proposal to distribute [contraceptive products] in public high schools. The Education Secretary Leonor Briones tried to justify the rejection, saying children under 18 need parental consent to receive contraceptive products.” (HumanRightsWatch.org)
This move by the PDE is viewed as a deterrent to tireless efforts, which are currently being orchestrated to address the Southeast Asian nation’s rising new HIV epidemic. Unfortunately, a sizable amount of the people being infected with HIV in The Philippines nowadays are youths.
“In December , the Philippines recorded an average of 24 new HIV infections per day, and 29 percent of this group were ages 15 to 24,” Conde also wrote.
Conde and other HIV prevention advocates in The Philippines feel as though the government should not be banning the distribution of contraceptive items in public high schools because the nation is dealing with an unprecedented number of new cases of the deadly virus.
“The Philippines needs to address this HIV crisis, but arguments that ignore science will only increase the likelihood of HIV transmissions among young Filipinos,” Conde said.
“It’s up to the Department of Health to override these barriers to condom access and for the Department of Education to implement its long-delayed Comprehensive Sexuality Education program, which includes modules on safer sex education and HIV prevention. Until that happens, young people will continue to be at needless risk of HIV infection,” he continued.
It remains to be seen what The Philippine’s national government will do about the country’s new HIV problem among youths since a ban on distributing contraceptive items in public high schools will likely remain in place. Lives are certainly at stake now that HIV infections have become a national health crisis in The Philippines.