By Mariela Angella Oladive
In line with the celebration of Valentine’s Day today, February 14, the Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) called for responsible behavior, particularly among teenagers, and emphasized the importance of consent and safe sex practices among adults.
IPHO Head Dr. Ma. Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon encouraged young people to abstain from engaging in premarital sex by highlighting its potential lifelong consequences in an interview on February 13.
“One way of showing our love to the person, especially to our teenagers, is respect. Pagrespeto sa pagkababaye sang aton partner. Indi anay mag-indulge sa premarital sex, abstain from having sex at an early age. Ang isa lang ka adlaw basi pagahinulsolan naton for the rest of our lives,” Quiñon said.
Quiñon also highlighted the importance of preventing unintended pregnancies and raising awareness regarding sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as HIV/AIDS. She encouraged the use of condoms and contraceptives to promote safe sex practices.
She also mentioned the availability of HIV testing centers and antiretroviral treatment in local RHUs (Rural Health Units) and hospitals, underscoring the significance of early detection and treatment.
Additionally, in line with the observation of Ash Wednesday that coincided with Valentine’s Day, Quiñon advised individuals to consider refraining from consuming meat products in adherence to religious practices.