Milkmen to Deliver Condoms in Southern India
June 3, 2005
Milkmen and newspaper delivery boys will be called on to deliver condoms to fight AIDS in southern India, according to a report Wednesday in the Telegraph newspaper. "One can reach almost 80 percent of the population every morning through these traditional routes," said Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, chief minister in Andhra Pradesh, one of India's high-risk states for HIV. Only 19 percent of the state's residents use condoms, compared to the national average of 41 percent.
The stepped-up effort in Andhra Pradesh is called "Anti-AIDS Sustainable and Holistic Action" and is set to launch on July 1. The program's acronym, "Aasha," means "hope.)
Reddy said the state government will introduce AIDS awareness classes in the ninth grade. It will also present AIDS prevention programs in the quarries and construction sites that are the workplaces of many migrant workers, who have been identified as a group at high risk of infection. In Hyderabad city, stylists will distribute free condoms from 1,000 hair salons.
In December, India's government announced it would pass out at least 1.5 billion condoms within one year. Previous governments pushed abstinence and monogamy but frowned on condom ads and were reluctant to promote condom use.
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.