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Condom Price Increases in Ukraine Cause Concern About Spread of HIV, Other STIs

February 9, 2009

Recent increases in condom prices in Ukraine have led some advocates to express concerns about a possible corresponding rise in the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, Russia Today reports. Since October 2008, the price of condoms in Ukraine has increased by 40% to 60%, possibly as a result of the declining value of Ukrainian currency. In addition, retailers and the country's only condom distributor have encountered difficulty obtaining credit, and local condom producers have limited cash flow. According to advocates, the price increases could particularly affect young people in Ukraine because they are the country's major condom purchasers despite having the least money to spend. According to Russia Today, the not-for-profit organization Anti-AIDS has warned that Ukraine could face increases in the spread of HIV and other STIs as a result of the condom price increases. Ukraine has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in Europe, with 19,000 new HIV cases diagnosed in 2008, Russia Today reports (Russia Today, 2/5).

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