WHO: Condoms can prevent spread of HIV/AIDS

(The Philippine Star) Updated March 23, 2010 12:00 AM


MANILA, Philippines - The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday came to the rescue of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral by giving assurance that condoms can prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, WHO representative in the Philippines, said “the correct and consistent use of good-quality condoms confers a level of protection as high as 85-90 percent against HIV transmission.”

“Male and female condoms, when properly kept, stored, handled and used, are the only scientifically proven barrier products currently available against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections,” he said.

Cabral had drawn mixed reactions when the Department of Health (DOH) distributed condoms to buyers of flowers at the Dangwa flower market in Sampaloc, Manila on the eve of Valentine’s Day to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS.

The Catholic Church demanded Cabral’s resignation while supporters of family planning praised her.

The WHO statement came on the heels of reports that HIV cases are alarmingly increasing in the Philippines.

“The number of newly reported HIV infections increased from one infection every three days in 2000, to one infection per day in 2007, and two infections per day in 2009,” WHO said.   – Sheila Crisostomo


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