Organizations in Nepal Hold Condom Day To Reduce Spread of HIV, Other STIs
Nepal's National Center for AIDS and STD Control, the country's HIV/AIDS and STD Control Board and the Nepal Red Cross Society on Saturday hosted Condom Day to encourage condom use, especially among young people and other vulnerable groups, to reduce the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, the Kathmandu Post reports. At a Friday press conference organized by the Health Journalists' Association of Nepal, NRCS Executive Director Umesh Prasad Dhakal said, "The day is a special event designed to reach young people, migrants and other vulnerable groups about the benefits of condom[s]." NRCS has distributed 10.34 million condoms at subsidized prices through 1,700 outlets, according to Dhakal. The group is meeting about 35% of the demand for condoms in the country, the Post reports. In addition, a report from NCASC found that condom use among female commercial sex workers in Nepal has increased from 74% in 2004 to 77.2% in 2006. "Only a proper use of condom[s] plays dual role of ensuring birth intervals and protecting against HIV/AIDS" and STIs, Dhakal said. According to NCASC, there are 70,000 people living with HIV in Nepal (Kathmandu Post, 10/19).
In related news, 300 women in Nepal's Rupandehi district have enrolled in a program to advocate and teach reproductive health and STI prevention among locals, the Post reports. The women are teaching locals about using contraceptives and are receiving support from local health workers and others in the health care sector. Because of the group, a large amount of the population now is knowledgeable about condom use, the Post reports. The campaign has contributed to an increase in HIV tests among men returning from abroad and those hoping to marry (Anmol, Kathmandu Post, 10/19).