Department of Health said there were children below 15 years old who tested positive for sexually transmitted infections, including an 11-year-old girl in Cebu.
According to DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo, sexually transmitted infections among children are now new but alarming. He also said the agency could not disclose the types of infections the children acquired, but DOH would give counseling and treatment to the minor patients.
Domingo said most of the sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed during the patient’s prenatal check-up. That was also the time DOH would know how the child acquired the infection, such as through sexual abuse.
HIV cases in the country are also increasing.
“For 2019, we’ve increased to 35 new cases per day,” Domingo said.
He also added that most of those who acquire HIV daily are young people. He said the most affected age group is aged 25 to 34, followed by a younger group aged 15 to 24 years old.
According to the group Love Yourself, there was a need to make children understand issues such as sex education and sexuality. Aside from the parents’ guidance, schools also play a significant role in guiding the children.
“We also have to realize that sexual activity now starts earlier than before,” explained Domingo.
He also said teaching children about sex if they are already 15 or 16 years old is “apparently too late.”
“They engaged in sexual activity even way before that,” he added. “Nakakakita tayo (we see) patients who were as young as 10, 11, 12 up to 14,” Domingo explained.
However, Domingo reminded everyone that the teacher who would teach sex education in schools should be a professional. He also said such topics should be taught scientifically so students would clearly understand the effects of early and unsafe sex.