Chilean Health Ministry Official Fired for Endorsing One-Time Condom Distribution
A Chilean health ministry official on Tuesday was fired for endorsing the one-time distribution of condoms in a state-owned newspaper, Health Minister Pedro Garcia announced on Wednesday, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. Juan Domingo Silva, head of public affairs at the health ministry's AIDS prevention office, was fired after approving the distribution of condoms in La Nacion newspaper without consulting his superiors, according to the AP/Sun. The Sunday edition of the newspaper included a condom stuck to a page with the logo of the health ministry's AIDS office as part of a feature story on sexuality among Chileans. "The ministry has a chain of authority that must be respected," Garcia said. However, speaking on Radio Chilena of Santiago, Silva said that he had notified his manager, Anabella Arredondo, of the article and the attached condoms. Neither Arredondo nor Silva was available for comment, according to the AP/Sun. Although the ministry said in a statement that it supports the use of condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention, "we reject that a condom that lacks the approval of the Public Health Institute be distributed with the government's logo." La Nacion Director Alberto Luengo said that the newspaper had paid for the condoms and had informed the AIDS office of their plans to distribute them. However, the health ministry denied that the AIDS office had been informed of the paper's intentions. "Our participation was limited only to providing information about the correct use of a condom," according to the statement (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 5/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.