Monday, September 24, 2018
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MSM’s link to HIV epidemic in PH

INQUIRER FILE

There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex; people should be very free with sex and they should draw the line at goats,” Elton John declared in public after marrying his longtime partner in 2014.

In 2017, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that our Christian nation has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia-Pacific.

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That males comprise 95 percent of the 1,962 new cases in 2018, and that 19 out of 30 male Filipinos who get infected every day are 15 to 24 years old.

That in early 2018 the PH National Youth Commission (NYC) is extremely alarmed, crying out: It’s a “youth epidemic!” with Aiza Sequerra explaining to the public that the “HIV epidemic has a new face and it is the face of a young (Filipino).”

That the “epicenter” of the outbreak has now shifted from female sex workers and overseas workers (OFWs) to males having sex with males (MSM).

That “anal sex was proven to be more risky than vaginal sex,” according to Dr. Rontgene Solante, past president of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, speaking at the HIV Summit in January 28, 2018.

That the epidemic comes at the time when a number of lawmakers are promoting same sex marriage, which is popular and getting legalized in other countries.

That the global socio-cultural ambiance has simply become so permissive, when a hundred celebrities and a million regular ones got out into the open and declared: “Freedom at last!”

And that 56,000 Filipinos are now living with HIV and it is predicted that the number of HIV cases would balloon to 142,000 by 2022, which leads us to the conclusion that MSM and HIV epidemic are correlated and not coincidental.

Going to war versus the LGBT is the last thing in my mind and, as a matter of principle, I would like to embrace the gentle attitude of Pope Francis who said: “Who am I to judge?” (In-flight interview from Rio de Janeiro to Rome, 2013). No blaming. No accusing finger. And no “I told you so.”

Mine is pure analysis that hopes to get to the bottom of the problem, an analysis which cannot disregard a moral paradigm.

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Dr. Rontgene Solante insisted that “promoting condoms among young MSMs is crucial because of the role unsafe sex plays in HIV infection.” With the same fervor I too insist that unsafe sex is not MSM without condoms but the MSM itself.

Promoting condoms (or anything external to the human nature) is only a Band-Aid solution to the problem. So, what is the long-term solution?

MSM, “the new normal,” contradicts the basic truth of sexual complementarity in being created “male and female.” Being born and designed by God as “male and female” naturally leads to fruitfulness or having a child through giving birth (not adoption

By nature, only the male supplies the semen and only the female receives it and can get pregnant. Together, male and female procreate in accordance with the law of nature and, if I may append, also with God’s creative intention.

Quite the opposite, a male partner can never get pregnant even with the assistance of most sophisticated transgender technology. Why, because, by nature, the man is not created or designed to have sex with another man.

Could this be an adequate reason why HIV/AIDS prevention experts came to the conclusion that “anal sex was proven to be more risky than vaginal sex” apropos the spread of HIV?

If so, then sexual complementarity, in which the woman completes man and vice versa, is the most charming part of the divine plan, so why mess with it?

If MSM is de facto the cause of the spread of HIV among our teenagers and young men, if “anal sex was proven to be more risky than vaginal sex,” and if MSM is in fact the unsafe practice itself, then promoting the use of condom (something external to the human nature) does not solve the problem.

If HIV is a terrifying ailment of nature, only something internal to the human nature can solve the problem.

Only abstinence and discipline (something internal to the human spirit) can address the root of the problem. If smoking can cause cancer, we tell smokers to quit and we require a discipline from within. In the same manner, if too much drinking of alcohol and taking of drugs are addictive and damaging to one’s health, we tell the users to stop.

Instead of providing e-cigarettes and other externals (such as condoms) as alternatives, we should teach our young to discipline themselves in order to become healthy and productive members of society.

If MSM is causing the HIV epidemic, the only way to combat it is to tell our boys and teenagers not to engage in the forbidden desires of the flesh (anal sex or MSM).

Abstinence and discipline are the only human method that can definitely help grow the youth’s moral backbone, and remains the only effective solution to the problem of “youth epidemic.”

Feedback: jomaximiano@gmail.com

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TAGS: abstinence, Aiza Sequerra, anal sex, condoms, disease, Dr. Rontgene Solante, epidemic, HIV in the Philippines Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), HIV prevention, male sex with males, MSM, op-ed, PH National Youth Commission (NYC), sexuality
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