THE National AIDS Council (NAC) has come out strong against a The National editorial last Friday which argued that condoms promoted promiscuity.
“HIV/AIDS is a people issue and we must all become part of the solution. This includes the media as one of the council’s valued stakeholder,” NAC chairman, Sir Peter Barter said.
He cautioned that PNG had come a long way in addressing the epidemic and information published in the editorial would diminish the good efforts of many stakeholders who tirelessly work to combat the spread of the virus.
Sir Peter strongly argued that the use of condoms from the HIV perspective was to protect people from infection and to stop transmission.
“Results from research on a global scale clearly refuted the claim as promiscuity has always been a part of societies prior to the introduction of condoms originally introduced as a birth control measure.
“Many faith leaders worldwide accept that promiscuity is not driven neither increased as a result of condoms. The council will continue to promote condom as one of the prevention measures against HIV as it is an officially sanctioned Government policy and this will not change.”
He said while efforts were continuing globally to find a cure for HIV, it was the council’s role to protect people by promoting research and sound HIV/AIDS prevention public health policies, as such “condom use is still a significant part of the Government’s overall risk management and prevention policies relating to the well-being of the people”.
However, Sir Peter lamented that one of the main reasons for the continued increase in the number of HIV cases in PNG was not because of the ineffectiveness of the HIV awareness campaigns or that condoms promoted promiscuity, but rather it was the people’s “do not care” attitude towards the messages.