Cabral Delighted by Church's Aid in Drive against AIDS, HIV

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Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral expressed elation that faith-based groups have fully cooperated with the government’s drive against the spread of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).Speaking before the participants of the National HIV Summit 2010 at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Cabral said the government will continue to undertake its anti-AIDS and HIV measures while stressing that the health department will continue to distribute condoms to the desired groups.As the Catholic Church frowns on the use of condoms, Cabral said the government will still distribute condoms to men engaging sex with other men, indigent HIV positive spouses, injection drug users, and parties preferring to use artificial birth control methods as an HIV and AIDS prevention scheme.Josephine Ignacio of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), said it is not just about the condom issue, saying it’s just the iota of the whole problem.She noted that the Church advocates abstinence and the practice of non-promiscuous behavior, citing the CBCP’s cooperation in the government’s fight against social factors like poverty, human trafficking, prostitution, and similar actions that contribute to the spread of the disease.Appealing to media not to create a wedge and animosity between the Church and the government, Ignacio said the Catholic Church do not have the luxury of time to engage in polemical discussions on condoms.She admitted that the Catholic Church collaborates with the government in fighting the spread of AIDS/HIV virus. She also asked the media to be responsible in their reporting on sensitive issues like the prevention of AIDS and HIV.She said the Catholic Church will continue to promote and encourage sexual relationships that are based upon on mutual respect for God-given dignity and mutual responsibility within the context of a permanent and faithful marriage. …