BAGUIO CITY—Young Filipinos have been resorting to a concoction of detergent or bath soap plus cola drink, which they consume after engaging in premarital sex because they believe that the mixture can prevent the transmission of sexually-transmitted infections, a doctor revealed in this year’s national school health and nutrition congress here.
“The reality is that many students are engaging in premarital sex and are resorting to methods, which they think can prevent pregnancy and protect them from sexually-transmitted infections like mixing Tide or Safeguard with Coke,” said Dr. Susan Gregorio, a medical specialist of the Philippine National AIDS-Watch Council (PNAC) on Wednesday.
The three-day school health congress was opened by Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Tuesday and was attended by a thousand school heads and school health personnel from various provinces.
Gregorio said the fact that sexually-active youths tend to experiment with household products to avoid pregnancies should compel educators to integrate lessons about sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV-AIDS.
She said the Department of Health and the PNAC have noted an increasing number of teenage youths who are infected with warts and herpes.
“The sad thing is that when they get these infections, they (youths) are ashamed to get medical advice.
This makes them all the more vulnerable to other sexually-transmitted infections such as HIV,” she said.
The Philippines was among the first few countries to pass Republic Act No. 8504 (the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998), which mandates, among other things, the integration of AIDS education in the school curricula.
“But we are slow in implementation compared to our neighbors in the Asean region,” said Gregorio.
The law requires the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to “integrate instruction on the causes, modes of transmission and ways of preventing HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in subjects taught in public and private schools at intermediate grades, secondary and tertiary levels, including nonformal and indigenous learning systems.”
The AIDS education module seeks to promote not only awareness of HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases, but also behavioral change, said Gregorio.