Monday, July 18, 2011

A Letter to the Editor

A letter to the editor of Sun.Star Davao:

Dear Editor,

With all due respect, I believe your reporter Jereco O. Paloma would have us jump to the same conclusions as he did without establishing any of the pertinent facts. I refer to your recent headline "Youngest with HIV is just 12 years old." Mr. Paloma exploits the tragic situation in favor of an advocacy by pointing to the cause of the infection from a lack of knowledge of sex education. And in the opening paragraph of what is supposed to be a news story, at that.

Apart from the age of the victim and the vector of the infection--sex--Paloma presents no other details. Was the child male or female? From whom did the child get infected? With whom did the child have sex? Did the child go to school? The answers to these questions will bear out whether any form of sex education could have prevented such an incident.

Since we're on the subject of jumping to conclusions, let me present my own conjectures: either the child was forced to work as a prostitute, or the victim of sexual abuse. These are very real evils and they go beyond the polemics of sex education. In failing to investigate these angles and instead using the story to push forward his agenda, Mr. Paloma misses out on the real story and does us all a disservice.

Finally, I would also like to ask why you and Dr. Villafuerte are so quick to disbelieve in your own statistics. In the same article, you quote that: "...of the 22 new cases, 21 are males and only one female." Yet immediately you quantify that "it is not yet conclusive that the highest incidence in the city is indeed among men having sex with men." The numbers are staring you in the face! You ask us to believe that a lack of sex education is the cause for an HIV infection, and yet you refuse to connect the dots on what the story that numbers tell.

Shame on you!