Puerto Rico’s Health Department had unveiled a safe sex campaign recommending masturbation as a way to avoid becoming infected with the coronavirus but later scrapped it following heavy criticism from the U.S. territory’s conservative sector
“Although our only intention is to educate and prevent, the publication was offensive to some sectors of the population,” the Health Department said in a statement. It said it didn’t want the message to be lost by distractions.
The island of 3.2 million people has reported more than 32,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, and more than 800 deaths from COVID-19.
Safe sex campaigns are rare in Latin America.
Mónica Feliú-Mójer, a spokeswoman for CienciaPR, a nonprofit group that represents Puerto Rican scientists, said that while the advice is sound, the campaign surprised her.