The Daily Manila Shimbun


Health department looking at other ways to make curb rising HIV cases  

January 31, 2017

The health department is looking at other ways to make condoms more accessible to the youth to curb growing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases.

In an interview Tuesday, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said :” The recommendation to involve schools to provide services to improve condom access is not anymore a primary consideration after the DOH and the DepEd agreed to take a different path.” .

“The DOH will work with other partners to ensure information is linked to service provision including but not limited to condom access,” she said.

Ubial said they are supporting the education department’s move to “develop and roll-out age appropriate reproductive health education in public schools at the same time raising HIV awareness among at risk and vulnerable population.”

Ubial said they are talking to the National Youth Commission (NYC) and other sectors over the possibility that peers distribute condoms.

Ubial said they will try to make condoms accessible in health centers as part of its regular  services.

On Monday, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones rejected the proposal of the health department to distribute condoms to senior high school students in public schools nationwide.

The health department was looking at joining hands with the DepEd in its “business unusual” approach to reduce HIV cases among the youth.

Ubial said the health department respects the education department’s decision.

“We respect their position. As we have said before, there is no coercion here,” said Ubial. DMS