Proposal by Colombian Town Official Would Require Men Over Age 14 To Carry Condoms
A proposal by an official in Tulua, Colombia, would require men and boys over age 14 to carry condoms or face a $180 fine or attend a three-hour HIV/AIDS prevention course, London's Guardian reports. Tulua, which has a population of 190,000, registered 14 deaths last year related to sexually transmitted diseases (Brodzinsky, Guardian, 1/12). According to statistics published in a local newspaper, the number of deaths from STDs increased by 50% from 2003 to 2005 (BBC News, 1/11). William Pena, the town council member who submitted the proposal, said, "This measure would not oblige anyone to have sex, only to protect themselves," adding, "If you're always carrying a condom, it is much easier to use it, that's why I made my proposal" (Guardian, 1/12). Local Catholic Church officials oppose the proposal. The Rev. Jesus Velasquez said the requirement would promote sex, adding, "I would have to have a condom even though I'm a member of the clergy." Several other initiatives promoting condom use recently have taken effect in Colombia, including a campaign last year to distribute two million condoms in Bogota, the country's capital, and a plan to install condom dispensers next month in bars and movie theaters in Tunja, Colombia (De Leon, AP/Tucson Citizen, 1/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.