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A reply by Dra. Cabral

Posted on : 19-05-2010 | By : admin | In : Feedback, Letters


Below is a reply by Dra. Cabral on a letter previously posted here at www.tvadvo.com. If you have not read the letter, click HERE to read the article.

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14 April 2010



Dear Ms. De Castro:

This has reference to your letter dated 27 February 2010 regarding condom use and HIV/AIDS. While we respect your views, allow us to express our side on the matter as well.

You seem to be under the impression that the Department of Health (DOH) regards condom use as the be-all and end-all of the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign. That is not the case. Correct and consistent use of condoms is but a part of a three-pronged strategy, which also includes abstinence and fidelity to just one sexual partner. Condoms are a controversial topic and have gotten extensive media attention, perhaps leading to the mistaken belief that we are solely relying on such a strategy to stem the rise of HIV/AIDS cases in the country. Our programs, plans of action and educational materials will show that we also place importance on the merits of abstinence and responsible sexual behavior. Condom use is just one of a myriad of interventions targeted for specific situations and groups of people. Please be informed that beyond the condom brouhaha, the DOH and its partners from various sectors have been working hard to educate the public, provide counseling, testing and support services, provide antiretroviral medication to those infected and scale up the over-all national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The problem is real and it must be addressed decisively.

We give due respect to your views regarding the issue of condoms and HIV/AIDS. But we are also firm in our belief that we must operate within the exigencies of the real world. We have nothing against those who choose not to use condoms on the basis of their moral or religious convictions. But not everybody can and will choose to be bound by these moral standards. Such is a necessary aspect of any democratic society. We recognize that many Filipinos cannot practice abstinence or fidelity to just one sexual partner, and we cannot force them to do otherwise so long as their acts are not contrary to law because, as we have said earlier, legitimate sexual behavior between willing married couples and consenting single adults are within the sphere of rights protected by our Constitution. We also recognize the right for those already infected to lead normal lives, including the freedom to engage in sexual relations with their spouses or partners. For them, there must be a safety net, which would be correct and consistent condom use.

Establishing a culture of immorality or promiscuity is not the goal of the DOH. We are simply providing the public with the platform to make a free and informed choice regarding the HIV/AIDS issue. We are not imposing condom use on Filipinos, nor are we disregarding other preventive methods. You have to give credit to the capability of Filipino adults to make free and rational decisions once the choices have been laid out before them, instead of expecting them to immediately engage in wanton, unbridled sex because of condoms. We believe that we as a people are more than that.

Thank you for allowing us to air our side.

Very truly yours,



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