ASEAN to Begin Safe Sex Campaign and ‘100% Condom Policy’ to Curb Incidence of HIV/AIDS
On the last day of its annual summit in Brunei, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) said on Tuesday that it plans to commence a campaign promoting condom use in an effort to fight HIV/AIDS in the region, Reuters reports. According to a 51-page "ASEAN Work Program on HIV/AIDS II (2002-2005)" report, the countries will gather supplies of inexpensive but high-quality condoms for use by their citizens and promote a "100% condom policy" at brothels, hotels and massage parlors. Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that his country's 100% condom policy at sex outlets "prevent[s] customers from purchasing sexual services unless they us[e] a condom," and helps prevent the transmission of STDs, including HIV. The ASEAN member nations of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand grow most of the world's rubber, the raw material in condoms, which may be an advantage for such a campaign. But the ASEAN report notes that "cultural and religious sensitivities and the reluctance of men to use condoms" may be barriers to the program's implementation (Reuters, 11/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.