DOH intensifies advocacy on condom use

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga —  Department of Health (DOH) has intensified its advocacy on condom use through the Safe Love campaign.

DOH Regional HIV Program Manager Joseph Michael Manlutac said the campaign is a strategic reinforcement of the Family Planning and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Sexually Transmitted Infections collaboration to harmonize approaches and accentuate the two-pronged program packaging of condom use. 

“Just in time for the Love Month this February, the advocacy primarily aims to normalize and lessen the stigma that comes along condom use and HIV testing in the community by providing safe spaces and creating a supportive environment,” he said. 

Manlutac shared that as of December 2020, Central Luzon ranked third nationwide with the most cases of HIV with 8,179 cumulative cases from 1984 or 10 percent of the national epidemic. 

With this, DOH Regional Director Cesar Cassion urge the community to intensify efforts on prevention, testing, treatment, adherence, and health education. 

“HIV is one of the critical public health programs that should continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Safe Love campaign, we challenge individuals and communities to do their share in ending this epidemic by practicing safe sex,” he said.

Meanwhile, various activities that will promote deeper awareness and understanding and HIV testing are being carried out by government agencies, private sector, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders as part of a collaborative effort. 

DOH also encourages the public to visit bit.ly/CLHIVKonek to know where to get free testing and condom access, as well as information about other HIV services in Central Luzon.