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Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte tells country not to use condoms because ‘they aren’t pleasurable’

Meka Beresford February 19, 2018
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he gives a speech during the mass oath taking of officials of various national leagues at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on June 1, 2017. Philippine airstrikes aimed at Islamist militants who are holding hostages as human shields in a southern city killed 11 soldiers, authorities said on June 1, as they conceded hundreds of gunmen may have escaped a blockade. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he gives a speech (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty)

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has told the country that they should not be using condoms because “they aren’t pleasurable”.

Duterte told a crowd of migrant workers that they should “avoid condoms because condoms aren’t pleasurable” while talking about the current population boom the country is experiencing.

Instead, he said that women should be seeking out oral contraception.

Further illustrating his point, the controversial president put a sweet wrapped in plastic into his mouth.

(PLEJFHA)

Related: Philippines president attacks human rights watchdog: ‘Are you gay or a paedophile?’

“Here, try eating it without unwrapping it,” he said. “Eat it. That’s what a condom is like.”

The comments have been slammed for being careless as the country is currently suffering from the highest rates of HIV infection in Asia.

In six years, HIV rates jumped 140 percent as 10,500 new cases were reported in 2016 compared to 4,300 cases in 2010.

The country announced last year that a trial of PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) would be launched to try and combat the rocketing rates of infection.

200 people, mainly gay men and trans women, will have access to pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment.

Duterte sucked a sweet wrapped in plastic to make a point about condoms (YouTube)

Related: Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte claims criminals are ‘beyond help’ because prison makes them gay

The World Health Organisation strongly backed the use of PrEP as HIV prevention in 2014.

Also known as Truvada, PrEP can drastically reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV and is available in a number of countries to at-risk groups including men who have sex with men, sex workers and people in serodiscordant relationships.

Despite being backed by WHO and other health bodies, the global provision remains patchy.

So far, it has been approved for use by medical bodies in the United States and the European Union, as well as in Norway, Australia, Israel, Canada, Kenya, South Africa and Taiwan.

(Photo: schum45)

Related: Philippines president calls Obama ‘son of a b*tch’ after homophobic abuse to US ambassador

A study released by the Philippines Department of Health showed that men who have sex with men were most at risk of contracting HIV.

Senator Risa Hontiveros said that President Duterte needed to “stop making thoughtless reckless and irresponsible statements at the expense of public health.

“President Duterte seems to be overly concerned with pleasure. There is nothing pleasurable or funny about the rise in our cases of HIV and teen pregnancy.”

Human Rights Watch also condemned the comments, calling it another of his “humorous asides”, which are anything but humorous.

HRW spokesperson Carlos Conde said: “(It is) like when he supposedly wisecracked about emulating Hitler in enshrining mass murder as state policy or joshed about the gang rape and murder of an Australian nun.

“But it’s irresponsible for the Philippine president to downplay the importance of condoms at a time when the Philippines is experiencing the fastest growing epidemic of HIV in the Asia-Pacific region.”

More: Asia, condoms, HIV, LGBT, Philippines, Philippines, Protection, Sex

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