Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
IRIN/PlusNews Profiles Ethiopian Cafe That Provides No-Cost Condoms
IRIN/PlusNews on Wednesday profiled Bellissima, an Ethiopian cafe located in the capital of Addis Ababa that provides no-cost "Sensation" brand condoms with every order. Hayat Ahmed, 2003 Miss Ethiopia and owner of Bellissima, said that as the brand ambassador for "Sensation" condoms in the country, she "wanted to link business with a message for sexually active people." According to IRIN/PlusNews, the cafe's concept is modeled on "condom bars" in Asia. Within the first two days of business, the cafe handed out six boxes that contained 48 packets of three condoms each. The campaign is supported by social marketing groups like DKT Ethiopia, and Ahmed said she plans to open more cafes around the country and promote other HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, such as fidelity and abstinence. Ahmed said that many Ethiopians are "ashamed" to discuss condom use and that she wants to "spread the message that condoms can protect you from HIV/AIDS." According to IRIN/PlusNews, the no-cost condoms have "elicited mixed reactions, with older patrons tending not to like the idea, while younger ones love it and sometimes ask for a second packet." Ahmed added that she plans to set up condom vending machines in the cafe (IRIN/PlusNews, 8/20).
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