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‘True love’ can keep you safe from HIV-AIDS
“If love is true, it can wait, right?” Josephine Ignacio, an HIV & AIDS program coordinator, is not talking about high school crushes but about how young people can be safe from HIV by going back to what love is all about — sacrifice and fidelity.Love, relationships and sex
In a YouthPinoy! interview, Ignacio explained young people’s “true love” can be grounded and strengthened by values like modesty, self-control and fidelity and not by premature physical expression through sex.
She also stressed how abstinence, will not only protect young people from HIV-AIDS, but will also test “true love.”
A 2006 study of young Cebuaños by Ushma Upadhyay revealed, girls whose emotional relationships moved quickly from crushes to ‘going out’ to exclusive relationships had sex earlier.
The study also suggested that teens who went through pre-coital behavior like kissing and petting fast are expected to have sex sooner.
Sex, not cheap
In June 2012 alone, 25% of HIV-AIDS cases or 74 out of 295 cases involved young people aged 15- 25 years.
The Philippine Catholic HIV and AIDS Network (PhilCHAN) and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) believe promoting a more humanized message about love and sexuality can help address skewed ideas young people have about love and relationships.
Beginning SY 2013 – 2014, Theology of the Body will be integrated into Catholic schools’ curricula.
“If [sex] is treated as a precious gift, then you don’t carry it around like a cheap merchandise…Only authentic sexual values can protect us from HIV,” Ignacio explained.
Theology of the Body is based on a series of lectures given by Blessed John Paul II that focused on an integrated vision of man and his sexuality.
It teaches, among other things, that the body and the sexual relationship itself is a symbol of God’s undying love for humanity.
Parents at the center
Parents are apparently still important and influential in this area of young people’s lives.
Through the project ‘Mainstreaming HIV in BECs’, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) aims to educate parents involved in basic ecclesial communities on HIV-AIDS, enabling them to talk about it, especially with their youngsters at home.
For Ignacio, this means more parents spending quality time with their children.
500 lay leaders and seminarians are expected to attend a HIV-AIDS workshop tomorrow at the San Carlos Seminary, Guadalupe to talk more about the pandemic that is affecting more and more young Filipinos.
Main speakers include Msgr. Robert Vitillo, Head of Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland and Fr. Dan Cancino, coordinator of the Episcopal Commission on Health Care programs.