Condom Awareness In India Increasing

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Condom Awareness

Condom awareness has increased significantly among sexually activemen and women in India, according to a report released on Wednesday,the IANS/India eNews reports. The report assessed a three-year HIV/AIDS awareness campaign that was formed jointly by UNAIDS and India's National AIDS Control Organization.


Thecampaign targeted six districts -- Aizwal, Bellary, Guntur, Kanpur,Kishanganj and Udaipur -- with high HIV prevalence. According to thereport, 95% of men in India believe condoms can prevent the spread ofHIV, and 70% percent of women know where to obtain condoms.

Thereport found that the incidence of sexually transmitted infectionsacross the six districts dropped from 55% to 17%. It also showed that5% of young women in Guntur, 6% in Kanpur and 8% in Kishanganj werewilling to accept husbands with extramarital relationships. Accordingto the report, the belief that condoms protect against HIV/AIDS hasincreased from 65% to 95% among men in all six districts. Awareness ofsingle-partner sex as a preventive measure against STIs also increasedfrom an average of 40% of residents to 76% across the districts, thestudy found. In addition, the study showed that the percentage of youngwomen who knew where to obtain male condoms has increasedsignificantly. About 84% of women in Guntur responded that they knowwhere to find condoms in the recent survey, compared with 30% in 2004.Similarly, awareness among women in Aizwal increased from 42% to 91%during the same time period.


Ministerof State for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes, who released thereport's findings, said, "The results attained in three years haveclearly demonstrated the effectiveness of a grassroots, district-levelintervention that empowers women to protect themselves and a possibleroute-map to rid the nation of this devastating pandemic." NACODirector-General Sujatha Rao said, "Given the vulnerability and risk ofyoung women and the difficulty of mass reach of awareness programs,"the campaign has been "successful in building effective models ofdistrict-level interventions which address women's empowerment throughan expanded response." She said the recommendations of the jointcampaign will be included in the upcoming National Aids Control Program(IANS/India eNews, 10/24).

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