Essay About Sex Education
Cases of sexual diseases can be traced all the way back to 1843. Currently, there are about 5 to 10 million people living with HIV in Asia. The Philippines has one of the fastest epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific. Over the past ten years, the Philippines has seen a rise in HIV cases because of religion and diverse ways of thinking. In 2008, there was about one case of HIV being reported each day, but since 2016, it has jumped to more than 26 cases of HIV reported each day. It has been 500 years since the Spanish colonial ruling, so why does the Canon law and laws of Spanish colonial origin still dominate the influence over one’s body, especially women? By looking at the Spanish colonization in the Philippines, lack of safe sex education, inadequate awareness of birth control and HIV/AIDS from the 1840s to the present, I will demonstrate how HIV/AIDs has become a crisis in the Philippines, despite the Filipino government having a “good” track of fighting against HIV.
HIV has been around way before the 1980s. Since the first reported case in 1981, the HIV/AIDS crisis has become the greatest challenge in global health. HIV among MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), helped bring the issues of AIDs to the world’s attention. Today, HIV/AIDs still remains a global issue affecting more than 50 million people around the world since the first cases reported in the United States and western Europe. In 1984, the Philippines recorded their first HIV case and it is slowly but steadily rising. The country’s Department of Health reported 234 AIDS cases and 470 HIV infections by the end of 1995. Overseas Filipino workers have become been accounted for 30-35% of all HIV/AIDS cases reported in the Philippines. Among these cases, 87 percent were men who have sex with men. There are most likely many more cases than reported. The true number of reported cases is unknown because of the lack resources, illiteracy, and ignorance and misinformation. The HIV/AIDS crisis is spreading and affecting the Filipino population .
Spain ruled the Philippines for 333 years and after 500 years of Spanish colonial ruling, Canon law and laws of Spanish colonial origin still dominates family, civil and penal law. The majority of these laws put restrictions on women’s sexual and reproductive rights. One of the many things the Spanish brought with them were the teaching from the Roman Catholic church. More than 80 percent of the country’s population is Roman Catholic. The Philippines has one the fastest growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific because Filipino laws are created by the Roman Catholic Church resistance to contraceptives. Many Catholic local government chiefs opted out to provide modern contraceptive methods and banned single people and youth from receiving family planning information from barangay (local government) health workers. Since 1987, conservative Catholic lawmakers have been involved in the table and re-tabled bills in Congress to ban modern contraceptives. The government claims to be secular, however, it continues to sex discrimination against women with their laws. The Church promotes natural birth control methods but rejects artificial contraceptives. The Catholic church’s opposition to contraception has helped add more fire to the HIV crisis.
East Asia and Pacific is a large and diverse region so, the HIV/AIDS epidemic varies because countries are involved with different types of people. Most of the cases reported are from countries with a large population with members practicing in high-risk behaviors such as injecting drugs and sex work (unprotected sex). Those who participate in these behaviors are increasing because injecting drug users will resort to sex work to help feed their addiction. The HIV epidemics in Southeast Asia are due to the high injecting drug users. The Philippines has a low number of injecting drug users, but the lowest rates of condom use in Asia, especially among extramarital partners and men who have sex with men. The use of condoms is discouraged by the church and the government family planning programs have policies against supplying condoms to unmarried people. The women believe that the use of a condom is up to the man and men refuse to practice safe sex because it lessens their macho image.
The youth are not aware of the consequences of unsafe sex. The HIV prevention/safe sex education in Filipino schools is inadequate because of the Catholic church’s limitation towards contraceptives. Information about sex is seen as taboo, too. This has impacted the commercial marketing of condoms, barriers to condom access and HIV testing. Research shows that young gay men have been discriminated when they purchase condoms from drug stores or social hygiene clinics that provide condoms to sex workers. Also, those younger than 18 years old are not allowed to purchase or get tested without parental consent. Since HIV prevention/safe sex education is poor, most youths are misinformed about basic safe sex practice. The youth believe that it can be prevented by certain drinks, douching with detergents, pull-out methods and washing their penis. A survey of 1200 males showed that a majority believed that antibiotics, prayer, and keeping git will protect against HIV/AIDS. A study of 10,879 men and women aged 15-24 years from 1994 national Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study, showed that almost all respondents had heard of AIDS, but were misinformed and ignorant on the topic of HIV transmission. The country’s lack of sex education and awareness for HIV/AIDS has influenced the spread within the population.
Sexual diseases have been around before the 1980s. In a newspaper ad from 1843, shows there is a cure for all sexual diseases created by J.B. Thorn, a chemist who lived in London. The cure is a tasteless paste and will cause no unpleasant sensation to whoever is taking it. The public no longer needs to change their diet or lifestyle to prevent these diseases. To this day, many believe changing one’s diet or lifestyle can help prevent HIV/AIDS. These people are misinformed and/or lack basic safe sex education such as those the youth in the Philippines. Also, those people come from countries whose healthcare system does not have the proper equipment, policy, and finances for prevention. It is important how patients are treated and resources to help provide equality and equity to prevent from HIV/AIDS.
Therefore, the Philippines has one of the fastest epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific because of the laws created by the Catholic church, nonexistence birth control methods, poor sex education, and inadequate awareness of birth control. To this end, the Roman Catholic church brought by the Spanish has impacted the country in every way from the laws to education. The Canon law and laws of Spanish colonial origin still dominate the influence over one’s body because of the Catholic Church. The Philippines is a Catholic country and the church has a massive influence in the government even though, they claim to be secular but frown upon basic safe sex needs.