China: Beijing Provides 100,000 Condoms for Athletes
August 15, 2008
UNAIDS, the Beijing organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee are providing 100,000 condoms for the 10,500 athletes taking part in the summer Games.
"There are many young, strong, single people in the athletes' village and, like everywhere, some will fall in love or other things, so we need to make condoms available," said Ole Hansen, a spokesperson for UNAIDS China. "We want to make sure they have the information and tools to protect themselves if they have sexual encounters."
Hansen said the condoms are being distributed via the athletes' medical centers, rather than being placed in their rooms. "We have people here from all religions and cultural backgrounds, some of whom may feel uncomfortable or offended with condoms in their rooms," he said. Two condoms are tucked inside each of the HIV prevention brochures being passed out at the centers. "No one can see that you are carrying condoms to save any embarrassment," Hansen said.
The quantity of condoms made available was decided based on demand at previous Games. Condom distribution at the Olympics began with the Barcelona Games in 1992. At the 2000 Games in Sydney, 70,000 condoms were quickly picked up, and 20,000 more were brought in. Plans to distribute 250,000 condoms at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002 were curtailed due to objections by religious groups, according to the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR); 100,000 were given out instead. About 130,000 condoms were given to athletes at the Athens Games in 2004.
8.12.2008; Belinda Goldsmith
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.