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‘Avoid condoms’ because they don’t feel good, says leader of country with HIV problem

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The Philippines has an HIV problem.

Out of all the countries in the Asia Pacific region, the nation — with a population of more than 100 million — has the fastest-growing HIV epidemic, according to a report from the United Nations.

It’s especially a problem for gay men in the Philippines, a group that has experienced a tenfold increase in HIV cases in just the past five years, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.

“The country’s growing HIV epidemic has been fueled by a legal and policy environment hostile to evidence-based policies and interventions proven to help prevent HIV transmission,” reads the 46-page report from the international organization. “Such restrictions are found in national, provincial, and local government policies, and are compounded by the longstanding resistance of the Roman Catholic Church to sexual health education and condom use.”


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