Church: Don’t judge those with HIV/AIDS


MANILA, Philippines—Catholic Church officials on Friday said the public should not judge people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes the dreaded Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Fr. Dan Cancino, regional coordinator of Southeast Asia HIV and AIDS Catholic Network, said people with HIV should be given emotional and spiritual support instead of being discriminated against.

The rate of HIV infection continues to rise in the Philippines, one of only five countries where the HIV/AIDS incidence is increasing.

“The first question should not be, ‘How did you get infected?,’” Cancino posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

“A lot of people with HIV want to change their behavior but do not have the support,” added Cancino, who has been serving for the last eight years in the HIV ministry.

Msgr. Robert Vitillo, a special adviser on HIV and AIDS of Caritas Internationalis, said discrimination against people with HIV had remained a “very serious” problem in the Philippines.

“We still have here in the Philippines a very serious problem with stigma and rejection even by family members so we need to teach people to take care of those in their families and those in their neighborhood living with HIV,” said Vitillo.

Sr. Amy Torres, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, said that besides providing counseling and the sacraments, the religious serving in the HIV ministry could also offer “acceptance.”

“Just love them,” Torres said, who has been giving support to HIV victims since she returned from Lebanon.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), there were 295 new HIV cases in October, 48 percent higher compared to the same period in 2011.

“Most of the cases (93 percent) were males. (Their) median age was 28 years. Forty-six percent (137) of the reported cases were from the National Capital Region (NCR),” the DOH said.

It said most of the new cases (286) were infected due to sexual contact (286) while the remaining nine shared needles.

“Males having sex with other males (83 percent) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most (93 percent) of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting,” the DOH said.

Gay activists have accused the Church of “consistently” undermining the HIV response in the Philippines through its “rejection of evidence-based strategies that countries all over the world used to halt their HIV epidemics.”

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  • basilionisisa

    “Catholic Church officials on Friday said the public should not judge people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”

    Isn’t it blatant HYPOCRISY coming from the Catholic Church? they who condemn gays and homosexuality, they who reject the use of condoms, (even now as they speak, they are still fighting the RH Law).

    CBCP must be HONEST in their stand, must be CONSISTENT in their pronouncements, must be TRUTHFUL in their press releases… if they want to be BELIEVED (again).

  • Jomex

    The Church leaders are such LIARS. Before they blamed HIV/AIDS to homosexuality and gays, now they are saying that we should not judge them. This attitude of the Church is so retarded that no one in their right mind should not trust what the Church says. The Church deserves to be mocked on this issue. They are the very institution that oppresses homosexuality and gays.  

  • Samuel Bilibit

    It is common public knowledge that many Bishops and priests are Homosexuals,Pedophiles and Adulterers, It is obvious that they are protecting their members from public censure. Padre Damaso na Babaero at Bakla…..ANO BA YAN ?

  • Mabuhay

    Bugbog na ang Catholic Church. And who are to be blamed but the priests and bishops themselves. Hindi sila makawala sa pagkakagapos sa nilalaman ng Noli and Fili……Iba na ang panahon ngayon, marunong na mag-isip at magbasa ang mga tao…….

  • blainz

    This lament on the ostracized victims of HIV/AIDS would have been much more effective had the Church not been opposing, more so… stigmatizing, the use of condoms. Alas, it’s all too late now and any attempt to reclaim the moral high ground on this issue will carry a stain of hypocrisy.

    Expect bigots to hop on this news to condemn homosexuality (oblivious to the fact that many priests are gay) and stick all kinds of insults on those who can see, and point to, the Church’s faults – of which condoning or even encouraging the basest of their followers in engaging in such base conduct being only one in a very long list.

  • Fulpol

    condoms are everywhere… the homos have money to buy condoms..

    why blamed the Church?


  • bahaykubo1015

    CHURCH: Don’t judge those with HIV/AIDS

    HYPOCRITES !!!!!!

  • RyanE

    The best thing that the church can do is to avoid meddling in government programs intended to mitigate HIV/AIDS in the country. Btw, previous church’s pronouncements about LGBTs are definitely not helping either.

  • johnlagrimas

    Gays who are engaged in sodomy eventually infected with HIV/AIDS.  It’s better to massacre all of them.  I’m calling all who are desperate and would like to run AMOK, do not shoot children – shoot the GAYS!  

    • romeo basingan

      I say better kill drug addicts and narrow minded people like you! At least gay people are productive people in the society compared to drug addicts and dumbfounded people.. 

    • jgl41456


  • Rami

    Evidenced-based studies have shown that condom can decrease the transmission of this dreaded  disease which the CPCB vehemently opposed.What the Church can do is to give counselling in private of the afflicted with HIV  which will be a great help.

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