Maritime students at PMI attend an HLI pro-life seminar for World Aids Week.

Tagbilaran City, Philippines — In observance of World AIDS Week, 200 graduating maritime students at the Philippines Maritime Institute recently attended a pro-life seminar given by HLI Philippines country director Rene Bullecer, MD.

Dr. Bullecer focused on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. He highlighted the untold dangers of condoms, which are less effective than most people think in preventing the spread of HIV — especially when used by those who engage in high-risk behaviors.

According to Bullecer, who has been an AIDS prevention advocate since 1992 and has treated many AIDS victims, many NGOs promote condom usage instead of abstinence.

“Sadly, many NGOs are profiting from the AIDS epidemic,” he said. “Worldwide promotion for condom usage results in hundreds of millions of dollars both for those who produce them and those who promote them in the developing world.”

HLI Philippines country director Rene Bullecer, MD

The public knows very little about the truth about the harmful effects of contraceptive usage, especially condoms.

“The reality is that condoms cannot guarantee protection from HIV/AIDS, despite what their promoters say. There is no such thing as ‘safe sex,’ especially when one engages in behavior that is known to spread the disease. If condoms really are the solution, how is it that HIV cases worldwide are still on the rise — especially among active homosexuals?”

Bullecer pointed out the enormous difference in the spread of HIV and AIDS between his own nation and Thailand. When the disease exploded on the scene in the early 1980s, there was a surge in spending on condoms as a preventive measure against the deadly disease. Thailand adopted the condoms-first approach at the national level, while the Philippines, a very religious nation, focused on abstinence and fidelity in marriage. The result: Thailand’s AIDS epidemic exploded to epidemic levels and has remained high, while the Philippines has seen one of the lowest AIDS rates in the world.

“We are concerned, though, that with the passing of the RH bill (a law passed at the end of 2012 that requires amoral sex education and the promotion of condoms and other contraceptives as ‘safe sex’ measures) we will see higher HIV/AIDS transmission rates that have been suffered by nations who always took this approach,” said Bullecer. “This seems counterintuitive to many people, but that is exactly what has happened in Uganda, and it’s why so many of the nations who have suffered the worst from the scourge of HIV and AIDS have long had condom promotion programs. As an overall strategy against HIV/AIDS, condom promotion has a terrible record.”

Bullecer pointed to Dr. Edward Green, former director of the AIDS Prevention Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, whose research showed that promotion of condoms as a primary response to HIV/AIDS transmission had failed terribly.

The best way to stay healthy, and for young professionals to stay focused on their careers is to avoid immoral lifestyles, said Bullecer to the maritime students.

Reprinted with permission from Human Life International.