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