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More condom vending outlets to check AIDS

More condom vending outlets to check AIDS

National AIDS Control Organisation will increase contraceptive vending outlets by five-fold to check AIDS in India.

New Delhi: Aiming to check the spread of HIV/AIDS through condoms, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has decided to increase by five-fold contraceptive vending outlets in the country to cover high risk groups.

"Under the National AIDS Control Programme-3 (NACP-3), the total budget for condom usage will be Rs 2,000 crore over a period of five years," a NACO official said.

"Our prime focus is on strengthening access by increasing the number of outlets selling condoms to 30 lakhs, an increase from six lakhs at present," he said.

This year, an amount of Rs 300 crores would be utilised for the project and NACO is planning to increase distribution from 1.6 billion to 3.5 billion condoms over the next three years, he said.

"Condoms play a major role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Our aim is to distribute 3.5 billion condoms in three years time," the official said.

Prevention of HIV/AIDS, including promotion of the use of condoms, is an integral part of the NACO. It is being promoted for dual use- protection from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy, he added.

The official said 75 per cent of the budget for the programme in its Phase 111 is earmarked for prevention activities, including promotion of the usage of condoms, Targeted Interventions, Blood Safety and Information, Education and Communication (IEC).

There are 5.2 million persons living with HIV/AIDS in the country, according to NACO.

The supply of condoms and IEC activities are carried out in both the urban and rural areas, with priority being accorded to high HIV prevalent and high fertility districts and Targeted Interventions among the high-risk groups and bridge population, the official said.

He said NACO will be carrying out intensive promotional campaigns on condoms in the coming few months.

"It is not only the high risk group that we want to target, but the general population too," he said.

He said the increase in numbers of the outlets would ensure that condoms are easily accessible to be a bigger population.

first published:March 08, 2007, 09:59 IST