I was driving along EDSA in Pasay recently and I noticed this attention-grabbing billboard along the southbound side facing west and near Pasay Rotonda. It had a bunch of silhouettes of sexy men and women with the words “Red Light Special” and a web address: http://www.redlightspecial.com.ph. I found the whole thing intriguing so I noted the URL down.
I thought it was some racy promo for San Miguel or another beer or some fashion show like Bench’s. But when I visited the website, it turns out to be an advocacy website for having safe sex, most especially of using condoms. It does not only concentrate on HIV/AIDS but touches also on other STIs. It even includes a list of medical institutions nationwide where you can have yourself tested for various sexually-transmitted infections. I think that this is quite a commendable effort but I’m troubled by the lack of any indication on who is behind this. Maybe they’re avoiding the wrath of the Catholic Church? Then again, the Church did not stop DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral from championing the cause of reproductive health, right?
One other thing that’s really troubling me with this website is that it says quite dangerous things! On its risk assessment page, the site declares that for oral sex between men with no ejaculation, there is “no risk for HIV, possible STI parasite risk.” The HIV part is not true! Pre-ejaculate fluid contains HIV and if the receiver has mouth sores or gingivitis, and especially if the oral sex is rough or if the receiver has braces, there is a non-negligible risk of fluid exchange leading to HIV infection! Saying that there’s no risk at all is very irresponsible.
So, while I admire the effort to inform people about sexual risks and using a sex-sells strategy to get people’s attention, I really cannot accept the fact that it contains wrong facts! What do you think?
Update (Oct 30): A commenter said that the website has now updated its information such that the information presented is no longer incorrect. Good for them!