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News > Chile

Chile's President on AIDS Prevention: Sex Ed Is Parents' Duty

  • President Sebastian Piñera at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires.

    President Sebastian Piñera at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 December 2018

President Piñera's remarks came after the U.N. announced Chile had witnessed a 50 percent increase in HIV-AIDS cases since 2010. 

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera said Wednesday that the responsibility to prevent the spread of HIV-AIDS lies with parents. His comments came as a response to a United Nations finding that the number of HIV and AIDS cases increased by 50 percent since 2010.

World AIDS Day: Stigma Remains Public Health Issue

Piñera said in a Wednesday interview: "the main people responsible for children's sexual education their parents."

According to the president, the government will promote a policy "to give parents more powers, more tools to be able to take better care" of their kids, acknowledging that "the state must contribute," including at school where children spend “many hours."

The Chilean head of state went on to assure the public that the health department will distribute more male and female condoms along with rapid-result HIV tests in state clinics.

Health Minister Emilio Santelices said that the country’s HIV-AIDS cases are increasing because young people don’t perceive condoms as necessary. Santelices says his department will emphasize sexual education and the ministry is going to open new clinics that focus on sexually transmitted diseases.

Leonardo Arenas, director of Chile’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) questioned the administration’s efforts against the disease on World AIDS Day which took place Dec. 1, saying there is little interministerial coordination to prevent the virus.

A study conducted and published last April by the HIV Center at the University of Chile’s Clinical Hospital found there was a 96 percent increase in HIV-AIDS cases in the country since 2010. Center director Alejandro Afani said at the time that there were 2,968 cases registered in 2010 compared to 5,817 in 2017, according to the national study.

Afani said the highest risk group are those between 15 and 25 years of age. He said: "there are at least 40,000 people infected who are unaware." 

Last May Santelices told reporters there were more than 31,500 Chileans receiving treatment for AIDS or HIV.

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