As H.I.V. Soars in Philippines, Conservatives Kill School Condom Plan

Source: The New York Times

MANILA — Jhay-ar Tumala remembers sitting in a pew in Manila’s Quiapo Church, holding a sealed envelope with his H.I.V. test results, and praying. He was 19 and had been having sex since he was 15.

“I didn’t know anything about H.I.V. or AIDS,” Mr. Tumala, 23, said last week. He does not remember reading about it in the papers or learning about it in school. And he had used condoms only intermittently.

The envelope contained bad news.

His story is not unusual, and that may also mean bad news for the Philippines.

While the rate of new H.I.V. infections has been falling across the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, in the Philippines it is soaring. The biggest increase is among gay or bisexual men under 25.

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