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International News

Thailand: Call for Cheap Access to Female Condoms

June 8, 2009

At the recent 12th National AIDS Conference, advocates said female condoms can play a key role in Thailand's HIV prevention strategy.

"Female condoms could help women have more power to negotiate with their partner to have safe sex, said Tissadee Sawangying, a health coordinator. "The government should work hard to increase alternative options for women to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS infection."

Dr. Taweesap Siraprapasiri of the UN Population Fund said the FC Female Condom has been available since 1988, but a newer version, FC2, is now on the market. The condom’s manufacturer addressed complaints about noise and difficulty of use, creating the FC2 from nitrile rubber that makes it more comfortable, said Taweesap.

In the last four years, production volume has risen from 12 million to 26 million, and female condoms are now distributed in 90 million countries. Thailand could make the FC2 available, though it would be expensive due to importation costs.

According to Taweesap, the government began studying the use of female condoms as part of the country’s HIV/AIDS plan in 1990 but the project was suspended and eventually ended last year. The government should revisit efforts to improve access to the prevention device, he said.

"The point is how to make female condoms become another option for women to prevent them from getting HIV," said Taweesap.

Back to other news for June 2009

Adapted from:
The Nation (Bangkok)

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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.
See Also
Thailand and HIV/AIDS