Finally, a saner, more rational way to explain why condom ads should be regulated.
The discussion on condoms and AIDS prevention is unfortunately being dominated by forces at the extreme ends of the liberal-conservative divide. There is a burgeoning population problem in our country, and there is no sense in denying it or saying that we are better off than most 1st world countries who now face the problem of a growing senior citizenry vs. a smaller number of young people (which is also a population problem).
The Church, with its conservative official teachings and its tradition of compassion and reason, has much to offer in the discussion of solving the population problem and the AIDS menace. If both sides, are only willing to dialogue.
There is much common ground to cover. It's a pity it seems most people only wander about their ideological comfort zones.
Why condom ads should be regulated
JOSE LEO LEMUEL G. CAPARAS JR.
11 Luis Sianghio St., 1103 Kamuning, Quezon City
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Letter to the Editor
First Posted 23:26:00 02/07/2008
As much as I want to understand Rina Jimenez-David (“Once more with condoms,” Inquirer, 1/26/08), I don’t find DKT’s condom ads to be a blessing. I share her desire to help women in the sex trade. I agree that the reasons given by those who are against condom ads are old -- as old as 2,000 years, maybe. But I also find them as current as the latest edition of the Inquirer.
For three reasons, DKT’s condom ads should be regulated.
1. According to information taken from DKT’s website, the firm distributed 277 million condoms in 15 years of operation in the Philippines. Condom sales grew by an average annual rate of 29 percent, which far exceeds the economy’s average growth. This does not include the 67 million pills and over one millions injectables also sold.
The proceeds from these sales would be enough to build a war chest for pricy ads. But the firm may have made a mistake by posting that in 2006 they sold 184,000 lubes and inserted 500 intra-uterine devices (IUDs). Medical textbooks and scientific references agree that human life begins at conception. Isn’t this firm breaking the law, considering that it is explicitly stated in the Constitution that the state shall protect the life of the unborn from conception?
2. Condoms don’t stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Take the case of our country and Thailand. In 1987, we had 135 AIDS cases. Thailand had 112 cases. In the early 1990s both took different directions against the spread of the HIV virus. In 1991 the Thai health minister adopted a “100% Condom Use program.” We did not.
Instead our government signed into the effort of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to set up the group AIDS-Free Philippines as the official program to fight AIDS nationwide. By 2003, there were 570,000 Thais with HIV, half a million more than the 9,000 Filipinos who had been infected with HIV by then. Also in 2003, 58,000 Thais died of AIDS -- 16 times more than the 500 Filipinos who died that same year.
A 2001 USAID report cited two reasons we had a low incidence of HIV/AIDS: a relatively high rate of abstinence among the youth; and the practice of married Filipinos to largely remain faithful to their spouses. The report stated that “The Catholic Church must be credited with influencing sexual behavior.”
3. My desire to be a responsible father. As such, I would not want anybody to just throw garbage inside my home. I feel far from blessed when I see or hear condom ads. This prompts me into writing in behalf of those who feel the same.