New HIV/AIDS Initiative in Tanzania Aims To Increase Condom Availability
Condom vending machines will be unveiled on Monday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as part of a six-year pilot HIV prevention initiative in the country, Tanzania's The Citizen reports. Daniel Crapper of Population Services International said, "We are working very hard to ensure that condoms are widely available to the people." About 100 machines -- at a cost of about 380,000 Kenyan shillings, or $350 -- will be installed in various bars in Dar es Salaam. The project also will be carried out in Morogoro, Iringa and Mbeya before being rolled out to other regions across the country, according to Crapper.
"Bars and night clubs are in our targets because they have the highest risk of unsafe sex, especially when people get drunk," Crapper said, adding, "This will enable condoms to be available almost daily." He noted that the condoms will be offered at a lower cost compared with some retail outlets and that the new initiative will not interfere with condom distribution systems throughout the country. According to The Citizen, the condoms will be available for purchase from the vending machines for 100 shillings, or about $1. John Wanyancha, PSI's HIV/AIDS program manager, said that the project's leaders focused on targeting areas with high HIV/AIDS rates after research revealed that inaccessibility to condoms at night was a major challenge in efforts to curb the spread of the disease. He noted that about 324 million condoms have been distributed in Tanzania since 2001 (Mbani, The Citizen, 5/15).