Fr. Cancino, HIV and Broken Families

In this opinion piece in the Inquirer, Rina Jimenez-David attacks Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino for saying something that many of us know, even if we don’t want to acknowledge it: there is a correlation between HIV and broken families.

Why is this offensive to Rina David and those that agree with her views? Have we gotten that far in our denial that we can’t even accept the truth he says? Are we that far gone in our self-delusion that we don’t want to admit this is how far our society has fallen?

Whether you agree with the way Fr. Cancino delivered his message or not isn’t the cusp of the matter here.

Maybe people need help connecting the dots, so we’re here to do it for you, since our mainstream writers won’t.

Family factors are a significant cause of drug and alcohol abuse and risky sexual behavior in the age group (teens and young adults) that are most at risk for HIV/AIDS infection.

See, for example, the list of common risk and protective factors of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Note that of the ten factors listed on the SAMHSA website, three or almost 1/3 are family factors.

The U.S. government also has this ongoing anti-drug campaign. Those of you who travel to the US will surely have seen these ads on TV and billboards.

In this US government campaign against drugs, lack of parental supervision is a risk factor for teen drug abuse.

What is the point? The causes identified by Rappler are proximate causes of HIV, which themselves have deeper underlying causes in family structure and function. Family dysfunction is one of the top risks for drug abuse and sexual risk-taking behavior, which in turn are risk factors for HIV infection.

Rina David is so very quick to throw up her hands in defense of the “weak and vulnerable”, even as she prescribes throwing condoms at them wantonly while ridiculing those who do not agree with her prescription. In the end, what does she solve? She very conveniently ignores the obvious: approximately 80℅ of HIV cases have MSM (Men having Sex with Men) behavior as the cause. This risky behavior CAN and IS prevented by sound upbringing, and failing that, sound evangelization. Rina David’s only solution seems to be condoms, which is about as simplistic and foolhardy as one can get about the issue.

For a more comprehensive discussion of these family factors that play a role in risky sexual behavior and therefore HIV transmission, see this study by Kotchick et al: Adolescent Sexual Risk Behavior: A Multi-System Perspective. If you are short on time, scroll down to page 505, “The Family System”.


Additional reading:
Social and behavioral factors associated with high-risk sexual behavior among adolescents
A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Family Structure and Health Risk Behaviours Amongst Young People: An African Perspective
Identifying Mediators of the Influence of Family Factors on Risky Sexual Behavior

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Posted in Homosexuality, News/Commentary, Youth

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