THE Department of Health (DOH) in Davao Region is all set give free condoms to the public once they receive a department order from the Central Office.

“We’re still waiting for the department order. Pagsinabi ni Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial at may written order na (When Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial says and there’s a written order), now we can start,” Dumama said on Monday, January 23.

DOH-Davao has already recorded 2,037 cases of asymptomatic Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and 262 individuals positive of Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) from 1984 up to the present.

Based on their report from January to November 2016, Compostela Valley has tallied five Aids positive and 14 asymptomatic cases, Davao del Norte has nine positive and 44 asymptomatic, Davao del Sur has reported 66 positive and 371 asymptomatic, while Davao Oriental has recorded 3 positive and 10 asymptomatic.

Davao City figures are included in Davao del Sur.

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and when left untreated it leads to Aids. HIV makes the afflicted individual susceptible to other life threatening infections.

According to the DOH-Davao chief, it is high time that this campaign will be implemented in order to mitigate the increasing number of these alarming cases.

In response to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) negative response on free condom distribution in public schools, Dumama said their effort is not merely a myth but based on facts.

“We already explained through interviews that the distribution is based on the current statistics in which HIV is rising among 15-24 years old and there is a low condom use rate and the top reason for non-use of condom was, it was not available,” Dumama said.

The DOH initiative will be piloted in regions where there is a high prevalence of HIV-Aids cases. These areas include National Capital Region, Calabarzon and Central Luzon and areas that are vulnerable and has poor access to condom.

“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and we respect that but we will implement programs that will ensure the health and well-being of the Filipino,” he said.

He also said distributing condoms is not promoting promiscuity.

With proper information access to condom promotes “responsibility, self-respect and a good health habit,” he added.