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Condoms in developing countries - 01/23/2013

Condom Availability in Developing Countries It is a fact that sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS are prevalent in the developing countries. As of the end of 2004, the World Health Organization estimated that some 39 million adults and children worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. Each year, the number of people being infected by this disease is at 4.8 million majority or 95 percent of them in the developing nations. Government and health authorities are taking the necessary steps to curb this problem. One of the most vital campaigns they are doing is to distribute free condoms and conduct educational campaigns to raise awareness on the importance of condom use to prevent STD transmission as well as unwanted pregnancy. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed that some 10.4 billion male condoms were used around the world in 2005. Of this figure, 4.4 billion were used for family planning and 6 billion for HIV prevention. For the year 2015, it is estimated that low and middle-income countries will need some 18 billion condoms. In countries where people affected by STDs and HIV cannot afford to buy condoms, those who are sexually active often depend on the free ones provided by non-profit organizations or those sold at a very low price. Countries such as those Africa (Congo, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Cape Verde), for instance, often rely on donations from international agencies to supply their condoms. In the Asian region, condoms are also readily available to teen and adult consumers. Thailand has a 100 percent condom program aimed at promoting the use of the rubber in every commercial sex encounter. Prostitution dens are required by the Thai government to encourage their sex workers to use condoms. The country was the first to admit it has a serious STD and HIV problem among its commercial sex workers. The Philippines is another Asian country where condoms are readily available through the commercial sector and through campaigns. Its President signed into law in December 2012 the Reproductive Health Bill which will, among others, allow the distribution of condoms and other contraceptives among low-income families. India also encourages the use of the rubber protection among adults. However, a study in 2011 showed that only seven percent of young women and 27 percent of young men in the country are using condoms when engaging in pre-marital sex. There’s also an issue of condoms of international sizes that don’t fit Indian men. In Japan, government and health officials are concerned about the drop in condom use to 200 million annually from a high of 700 million 10 years ago. This, according to health experts, is a major factor in the increase in STD transmissions. They continue to encourage the conduct of a public awareness campaign especially in schools with the help of teachers and parents. Developing countries are facing the challenge of addressing health concerns as a result of a high incidence of STD and HIV cases. Authorities are not sitting on their laurels and with the help of non-profit organizations, they hope to combat the fight against these sexually transmitted illnesses.

 

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