RH bill answer to rise in youth with HIV-A A +A
Monday, May 28, 2012
MANILA -- The Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare (PNGOC) said on Sunday the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill may just be the answer to the reported rise in the number of young Filipinos afflicted with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
According to PNGOC Executive Director Dr. Eden Divinagracia, the RH bill has a provision that mandates HIV/sex education, which would give the youth the necessary information against the disease.
“RH bill has an aspect that may contribute to the addressing of the problem so it will definitely help,” said Divinagracia.
Over the weekend, the Department of Health (DOH) expressed alarm over the growing trend of young Filipinos, or those belonging to the 15 to 24 age group, with HIV.
Figures from the March 2012 Philippine HIV and Aids Registry Report showed that there are a total of 9,163 HIV cases recorded since 1984 with 23 percent or 2,132 cases belong to the 15 to 24 age bracket.
The DOH attributed the spread of HIV infection among the young age group to the early sexual debut prevailing among Filipinos.
The government agency said this is the reason why they have been pushing for the inclusion of sex education in the school curricula but has yet to hear from the Department of Education.
In the meantime, the PNGOC believes that parents should be more involved in the activities of their children, especially on their sexual behaviors.
“Since we don’t have it in schools yet, we are hoping that there will more intervention in family units and there would be more involvement of family members,” said the PNGOC official.
“It is important to discuss these matters at home since we don’t have sex education in schools yet,” added Divinagracia. (HDT/Sunnex)