Editorial: Access to safer sex

(SunStar Davao graphics)

IN A bid to lower the HIV-Aids cases in Davao City, it’s City Health Office (CHO) is planning to make condoms more accessible to the public by requiring condom dispensing machines in some establishments in the city like motels and inns.

Priscilla Senoc, CHO Health Education and Promotion officer, said they are set to meet with the Davao City Aids Council in the crafting of an ordinance to implement this strategy against HIV-Aids prevention.

Aside from reducing the spread of HIV-Aids, the condom is also a safeguard against other sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA), "A condom acts as a barrier or wall to keep blood, or semen, or vaginal fluids from passing from one person to the other during intercourse."

"These fluids can harbor germs such as HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. If no condom is used, the germs can pass from the infected partner to the uninfected partner," it added.

However, condoms are not as 100 percent effective like not having sex at all. When used correctly, it will reduce your risk of getting STIs.

While it is commendable that the CHO will be requiring the setting up of condom dispensing machines, it must ensure that the condoms that will be made available are those that will prevent STIs.

The US-FDA states on its website that latex and polyurethane condoms can prevent the passage of STI. However, natural or lambskin condoms may not protect from STIs.

The CHO might also want to consider posting a frequently asked question on "how to use a condom" sign on the vending machine. Not everyone knows how to properly use a condom.

Did you know that you may still be at risk if the condom does not fully cover the entire male genitalia?

The Health office has set its eyes on lowering the HIV/Aids cases in the city with this strategy. However, it also must educate the public on the proper use of the contraceptive.


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