Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Sex education and condoms land Harsh Vardhan into ‘unhealthy’ controversy

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: June 27, 2014 2:54 pm | Updated: June 27, 2014 5:22 pm

After landing into a controversy for giving preference to fidelity in marriage over the use of condoms to prevent AIDS, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday once against sparked a debate over his opinion about banning sex education in schools.

The Health Minister in his ‘vision’ for Delhi document has stated that there is a need to integrate value education and emphasis should be put on exposing students to Indian culture and tradition. He stated that ‘Yoga’ should be made compulsory for students while there is no requirement for sex education at all.

It may be noted that the Dr Harsh Vardhan had earlier sparked a row when he said that fidelity in marriage is a better prevention for AIDS than the use of condoms.

Later, he rejected the news reports that he underplayed the role of condoms and said clarified that his statement was misunderstood by people. His statement on informing people on the supremacy of fidelity as an AIDS prevention measure is not only a piece of cultural advice but also a scientific one, he said.

Through misleading headlines, an impression is sought to be created that I have misgivings about the efficacy of condoms or that I have a moral problem with condoms. For the past two decades, I have been stressing the need for safe sex using a combination of condoms and discipline which is in line with the Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom (ABC) line of UNAIDS that has yielded great success in Uganda and forms part of the anti-AIDS campaigns of several countries,” he said.

“As the health minister, I find it justified to include this simple message in the communication strategy of the government’s anti-AIDS programmes,” he added.

“Condoms promise safe sex, but the safest sex is through faithfulness to one’s partner. Prevention is always better than cure,” Vardhan had said.

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