RH bill seen beneficial to fight HIV

02/08/2011 - THE controversial Reproductive Health bill will give a big advantage in the fight against sexually transmitted diseases, a health official said yesterday.

Dr. Iliac Tac-an, social hygiene head of the Cebu City Health Department(CCHD), said that aside from family planning, the RH bill that advocates the use of condoms could prevent sexually active people from infecting others.

But retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal earlier said that contraceptives like condoms give a “false sense of security” to people because they pose health risks and could not fully protect a person from diseases like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

“It’s just dressed in some other ways, but has always been the same. We are against RH Bill in all its form,” Vidal said.

He reminded the flock to keep praying so the moral teachings of the Church would prevail.

“I ask you to listen to me and oppose the RH bill, not because I’m old but because of the Church, which has the higher and knowledgeable reason for more than 2,000 years,” Vidal said.

Tac-an, who said they would freely provide condoms to whoever needs them, said that the 100 percent assurance of protection from the virus is abstinence, but the condom can prevent infection from male discharges like in the case of syphilis.

She said the virus is in the discharges that would be contained in the condom, so the partner would be protected.

Cebu City has realigned at least P25 million in its annual budget for 2011 to finance the HIV prevention program.

The CCHD can use part of the amount for HIV prevention programs.

Tac-an said that as of December 2010, the confirmed cases of HIV have reached 182.

They also recorded two new HIV cases last week involving a male and a female. They, however, declined to give further details of the latest cases.

Tac-an said they continue to conduct an education and information campaign in their health centers, voluntary counseling and regular check-up of sex workers in Cebu City.
(Cebu Daily News)

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