Condoms not for pre-marital sex

Condoms are not made to promote pre-marital sex especially among the youth but to complement the family planning method of adult married couples. But why are family planning advocates promoting the use of condoms among young unmarried teenagers? Is this not promoting pre-marital sex? Why doesn’t someone conduct a survey on how many unwanted pre-marital pregnancies occur due to this undue method?

Dumaguete City Councilors Lilani Ramon, Joe Kenneth Arbas and Manuel Arbon objected to the prominence given to the advisory for the “correct use of condoms” as one of the means to control teenage pregnancy and the spread of HIV-AIDS.

Dumaguete City Population Officer Laume Ruth B. Quijote added that there have been 428 teenage pregnancies in 2015 and 189 in the first 6 months of 2016 recorded along with 39 cases of juvenile delinquency. Cases of early marriage involving couples below 24-years-old recorded 250 in 2015 and 230 as of Sept. 13, 2016

Councilor Ramon told members of the Population Commission, which organized an orientation for the establishment of an information and service delivery network to address the youth sexual and reproductive health concerns, to firmly shut the door from teaching the youth that they have an option at all of using condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy and Sexually transmitted infections.

Arbon laments that instead of inculcating the values of abstinence and chastity, POPCOM, is reinforcing the mindset that it is all right to engage in sex provided one uses a condom. He added that it did not work in Thailand since the cases of HIV-AIDs ironically increased after they invested heavily in the procurement and distribution of condoms since it also promotes a false sense of security and unnecessarily encourage risky behavior among the youth.

HIV-AIDS can be transmitted via semen or vaginal secretion, blood and mother’s milk through sex, transfusion and breast feeding, respectively.

Portia A. Francisco, Population Program Officer IV expressed alarm that a survey in 2013 showed that for Central Visayas (Negros Oriental was then part of) 1 in 3 youth engaged in premarital sex and called for a concerted effort to safeguard the health and welfare of the adolescent (aged 1019 years-old).

Dumaguete City Population Officer Laume Ruth B. Quijote bared that the youth population (those in Grade V to Senior High) stands at 40, 700 or 31% of the total population of 131, 377 as of 2015. These students are the target of the lectures and seminars of reproductive health and sex education.

A survey in 2013 revealed disturbing statistics that only 26.8% of the youth in Region 7 discuss HIV AIDs; 61.9% of the youth believe they are invincible from it and 36.9% erroneously believe it to be curable.

Nevertheless, Ramon asks POPCOM to calibrate its strategy and maintains that best means to combat teenage pregnancy and the spread of HIV-AIDS is to rigidly impose upon the youth the values of abstinence and the need to focus on their studies. (By Dems Demecillo)

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