DOH AIMS FOR MORE CONDOM STATIONS IN WEST VISAYAS
ILOILO CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas is aiming to set up for more condom stations in establishments to cater travelers or tourists and the local folks alike in light of reducing the cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Adrian Hort Ramos, DOH HIV/AIDS coordinator said that the agency targets to lessen the increase in new cases of HIV, especially in “establishments like hotels, motels, lodging houses and pension houses.”
Currently in Iloilo, four universities have established condom stations.
The PHINMA (Philippine Investment Management University of Iloilo) recently opened its own station on Wednesday.
In 2018, the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV) Miag-ao and Iloilo City campuses, together with the West Visayas State University (WVSU) launched their own stations last December.
As per feedback from the UPV Iloilo City Campus, the 10 boxes with around 72 pieces of condoms each are all “sold out”.
“There was a quick survey that was conducted and 79 percent of 100 respondents favored the initiative,” he said.
Ramos said that, the establishment of condom stations does not intend to promote promiscuity. Instead, they would like to reach out to the 15 to 24 years old age group that happens to be the second with high cases of HIV.
“It aims to raise their awareness on HIV and protection and lessen cases and to lessen the stigma associated with the use of condom,” he added.
Condom stations are also available at the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) and at the DOH offices.
“The condom station is a safe place where they can get the commodity upon assessing themselves that they need it,” he said, adding that it is only made available to 18 years old and above.
Western Visayas, as of November 2018, has 2,946 cumulative HIV cases since 1986.
Ramos said there are 794 missing HIV cases in Western Visayas based on the best estimate and computation of the epidemiological bureau of DOH.