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By Joe Kanekane

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 21, 1999 - The Independent/Abridged)---The Censorship office has expressed grave concern over the increased use by Papua New Guineans of sex enhancing drugs and has warned of the disastrous side effects of some of them.

Chief Censor Martin Tabel said these drugs, which are said to enhance a person's sexual prowess, are being used by people without proper knowledge of the possible side effects.

Users do not know enough about the different types of drugs and could end up causing serious harm to themselves or their partners.

He said that not only was the censorship board concerned about the amount of drugs that were brought into the country, but there were fears that other banned sex stimulants were also imported.

Some of the drugs impounded include; Spanish Fly, Body Wise, Sea Hard spray, Stud 100, Fire Drops, Mess Oil and High Forest.

Mr. Tabel said that there were reports that some of the drugs being circulated were harmful and could pose health risks, and people using the drugs should be cautious.

"This matter has been brought to the attention of the board and we are deeply concerned about the way these drugs are being used, " Mr. Tabel said.

He said the rate at which sex drugs and other related products are circulated in the country was alarming and every attempt must be made to examine some of these drugs.

He said the public should also realize that some of the drugs would not be able to deliver what they claim, and could be just an advertising gimmick to lure people into buying the product.

"If people want to use some of these drugs they should make it their business to study the affect on the body and other characteristics of the drug before they use it. It is in their interest that they do this," he said.

One of the drugs which the censorship office says has been widely circulating is said to have the effect of keeping the male sex organ erect for over six hours.

Another one, specifically for women, is said to have instantaneous affect on the users' sexual urges.

Mr. Tabel said that the censorship office had called three meetings to address this problem with groups and NGOs that worked in the fields of counseling and sex therapy.

Most of the counseling agencies said that many of the clients who visit them admit to having sexual problems and needed advice on how to improve their sex lives.

They also revealed that clients were fearful that their relationships would fail, as there was no sexual satisfaction.

The Health Department, Life Line, Institute of Medical Research and the Welfare Office are some of the agencies that were present during the meeting. Representatives expressed mixed reactions regarding the use of the drugs.

Officials from the Health department maintained that as long as the drugs were taken following a doctor's advice there was nothing wrong.

They recommended that it was proper that these drugs were thoroughly screened and their effects monitored closely prior to taking them.

However, the health officials said that it was a complicated process to examine each drug and would take a long time to verify the different compounds included.

The other groups said that there were advantages to be derived from the use of the drugs. They believed that couples who had sexual problems could use them to enjoy sex. Another proposed advantage was that when couples use the drugs it limited the chances of promiscuity and prevented them from contracting venereal diseases and AIDS, because they would not be seeking sex outside the relationship.

For additional reports from The Independent, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Independent (Papua New Guinea).

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