Cayman Islands: Bars Get Free Condoms
July 21, 2006
The Cayman AIDS Foundation (CAF) will use a $15,000 ($17,775 US) government grant to promote condom use to prevent HIV/AIDS. Augmenting existing condom vending machines, the AIDS Foundation's grant will be used to distribute free condoms to participating bars and nightclubs on Grand Cayman, a move supported by Public Health Officer Dr. Kiran Kumar.
"The biggest challenge in fighting HIV/AIDS in Grand Cayman is the stigma attached to it," said Jennison Nunez, CAF president. "We hope this initiative will help open up the subject to better educate the public and change the way this disease is perceived."
"While thankfully our infection levels are low, if current behavior doesn't change, HIV/AIDS will become an increasingly serious problem here," said Clara Smith, CAF's executive board member. While access is a focus of the campaign, CAF will also emphasize correct condom use in sessions for interested patrons and staff. "We want to make it easier for people to protect themselves and to be more aware that there is a real need to practice low-risk behavior."
The foundation has so far delivered a portion of the condoms. Half of the condoms will be distributed to 11 clubs and bars on the island, with particular focus on venues frequented by sex workers. The other half, which includes female condoms, will be distributed to family physicians to give to their patients. CAF will monitor uptake over the year so it can accommodate demand.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.