Brazil To Install Condom Vending Machines in Schools as Part of HIV Prevention Campaign
Brazil's Ministry of Health on Tuesday pledged to continue plans to install condom vending machines in schools nationwide as part of the country's HIV prevention efforts, Reuters/Washington Post reports. The health ministry recently launched a contest for technical schools to design an improved condom vending machine and will award the winning team with $25,000. Trial vending machines might be installed in schools as early as 2008, and the health ministry aims to install the machines in bars, clubs and 24-hour gas stations. In addition, a survey recently released by UNESCO found two-thirds of parents responded that they approve of the government offering teenagers increased access to no-cost condoms and sex education. The survey was conducted among 135 schools that participate in the condom distribution efforts, as well as a smaller number of nonparticipating schools, in about half of Brazil's states. It found that 45% of students ages 13 to 19 responded that they had active sex lives and that 60% to 70% reported using condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections. About 10% of students said that they have had sex without a condom because they could not afford one, and 42% of students responded that they did not have a condom available (Reuters/Washington Post, 2/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.