What can be the reason for such alarming figures?
Why Condoms Aren’t Used More Often
In a survey conducted by the health management organization (HMO) PhilCare, they learned that only 1 in 10 sexually active Filipinos use condoms. This makes an alarming majority of Filipinos susceptible to STDs and pregnancies.
Around the world, it has been found that condom use prevents or lessens these health issues. This is not the case, however, in the Philippines.
According to the social advocate group Human Rights Watch, condom wearing in the Philippines is lax among Filipinos for the following reasons:
Lack of education and information
Condom information is scant in developing countries. Young people might be aware of condoms, but only a few are knowledgeable enough to use them.
Due to severe economic inequality in the Philippines, many Filipinos simply cannot afford contraceptives. As a result, many teenage girls become mothers. HIV infections also become common in homosexual relationships in poorer communities.
Many Filipinos have no access to contraceptives, especially in rural areas. According to previous research, many begin their first sexual experiences with little to no protection at all. This might explain why teenage pregnancy rates are higher in the provinces compared to urban centers.
Cultural and Social Stigma
There is a stigma regarding both contraceptives and homosexual relationships in the Philippines. Even though condoms are common in convenience stores, young people opt not to buy them due to this stigma. Condom wearing in the Philippines is also frowned upon or banned outright in conservative communities.
Solutions to the Condom Conundrum
The following are a few key solutions in addressing the problems resulting from lax condom wearing in the Philippines. Many of these efforts are already being implemented in the country. But due to government and religious policy, they are hard-pressed to gain a foothold.