As Valentine's Day nears, the Philippines' national health department wants to circulate as many free condoms as possible.
Compared to other developing nations, the Philippines has a remarkably low number of HIV-AIDS carriers: only about 6,000 in a population of 92 million. (Geography deserves some of the credit -- it's harder for the disease to spread between the country's many islands.)
But health officials want to make sure that, during the season of love, their country doesn't pick up new carriers. Especially since the disease is on the rise.
The Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines, however, claims health workers' condom giveaways are actually helping spread HIV, according to Manila media outlet ABS-CBN News.
The health department gave out condoms around Valentine's Day in 2010.
HIV increased in 2010.
Hardly a smoking gun.
Meanwhile, a leading AIDS research journal warns that a the Philippines is vulnerable to an HIV epidemic… in part because Filipinos practice the lowest condom usage in Asia.