.- A Catholic archbishop in the Philippines has called for a ban on prostitution to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Oscar Cruz, Archbishop emeritus of Lingayen-Dagupan, has said authorities should consider widespread and covert prostitution as one of the “transmission realities” of HIV/AIDS. The government should tackle the root problem instead of relying on condom promotion, he added.
Unlike other bishops, Archbishop Cruz has not called for the resignation of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) reports. However, he criticized her for making a “cobweb” against the Church’s position on condom use.
Cabral blamed the Church for helping the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the Philippines after her department’s free condom distribution was censured by some bishops.
Archbishop Cruz charged that Cabral appeared “curiously silent” about the “continuous operation of many prostitution houses all over the country” as a major culprit in HIV transmission.
The archbishop added that instead of blaming the Church the Department of Health chief should focus upon the rising number of motels famous for “short-time” rates, which continue to spread, especially in urban areas.
He also called on the government to create laws against internet pornography, which can adversely affect people’s sexual behavior and attitudes towards sex.