Young Filipinos Not Practicing Safe Sex, Study Shows
According to a recent report from the University of the Philippines Population Institute, about two million young Filipinos are not using protection against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, when they have sex, Agence France-Presse reports. About 2.5 million Filipinos said they began having sex around the age of 18, but 80% of the group said they did not protect themselves against STDs, the report found. Tomas Osias, executive director of the government's Commission on Population, said that the findings had "significant implications" because "roughly 60%" of the Filipino population of 78 million is under the age of 24, and the population continues to grow at a rate of 2.3% a year. The large number of young people, "coupled with the growing acceptability of practices they adopt from their social environment, places the young at risk if they accept and initiate themselves into risky behavior," the commission said in a statement (Agence France-Presse, 12/6). "Exploring and experimenting are part of being young, but young people must consider the importance of being informed first," Osias said. According to the new report, 94% of sexually active young people said they were "not prepared" to be parents. Teen pregnancies account for 75% of maternal deaths and 17% of abortions each year in the Philippines (Teves, Associated Press, 12/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.