Sensitising youth on safe sex : AHF to instal free condom kiosks

Sensitising youth on safe sex : AHF to instal free condom kiosks
Highlights

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation AHF, the largest global AIDS organisation operating in 42 countries, on Monday announced its willingness to install free condom kiosks in all the universities, youth hostels and software parks across India

New Delhi: The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organisation operating in 42 countries, on Monday announced its willingness to install free condom kiosks in all the universities, youth hostels and software parks across India.

The aim of the initiative is to enable easy access to condoms for youth, especially who are living away from families, in hostels or the migrant-worker force, including those youth working in software and the Silicon Valley, a statement said.

The AHF has already placed more than 25 free condom kiosks in non-traditional outlets like pan shops, super markets and popular bakeries in key Indian cities, enabling easy access to condoms, it stated.

As per the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), India had an estimated 21.40-lakh people living with HIV in 2017.

The prevalence has increased primarily due to situational factors among four key population groups -- female sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users (IDU) and migrant workers, students studying away from homes, and communities displaced due to disasters.

"Free distribution is particularly important as paying for a condom becomes often an impediment for condom use, particularly among younger males, especially at casual sexual or unplanned sexual encounters.”

"Large national level condom sensitisation programs have proved that free condom distribution not only increases condom use among sexually active populations, but also promotes delayed sexual initiation and abstinence among youth," Dr V Sam Prasad, Country Program Director, AHF, said.

In 2017, the AHF initiated an online free condom store for individuals and organisations to provide them stigma-free, easy access to condoms across the country.

Within the first three months, the AHF disseminated 10-lakh free condoms across the country, which included more than 4-lakh condoms delivered to individuals alone.

Institutes could contact the organisation through a mail to freecondomstoreahf@gmail.com or call on the toll-free number, +91 1800 102 8102, to put free condom kiosks.

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