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Sex, HIV/AIDS still taboo subjects in Filipino homes – Popcom

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By Analou De Vera

Sex, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV/AIDS are still taboo topics in Filipino homes, an official of the Commission on Population (Popcom) said Sunday.

FILE - In this Dec.1, 2016 file photo, an HIV-positive Filipino lights candles around an AIDS symbol as he participates in an event in observance of World AIDS Day in Quezon city, Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, FILE)

In this Dec.1, 2016 file photo, an HIV-positive Filipino lights candles around an AIDS symbol as he participates in an event in observance of World AIDS Day in Quezon City, Philippines. (AP Photo / Aaron Favila, FILE / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Our parents are not open to discussing STI (sexually transmitted infections), HIV/AIDS, about teenage pregnancy. These are still considered taboo. There is stigma in premarital sex,” Popcom-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Lydio Español said.

Español said supplemental teachings at home regarding the topic are necessary aside from what is being taught in schools.

“Our schools are openly discussing it. And our adolescents are very receptive to know what are really the facts behind what they think that they should learn and understand about adolescent sexuality,” he said.

Since it is a taboo issue at home, Español said adolescents are seeking information from “less reliable sources.”

“In that case, adolescents are resorting to their own way of looking for information like from the internet, from their friends, and we cannot say that those are reliable or accurate information,” he said.

On the part of Popcom and the Department of Health, Español said that they have been “going around schools and communities to provide accurate information and do something about it.”

Español urged parents to hold discussions on sex education with their children as well as with the Youth Councils in barangays to bring sexuality education closer to adolescents in the community.

“An open discussion is very necessary between parents and their children and then in schools between teachers and students; and in communities with the SK (Sangguniang Kabataan),” he said.

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