Condom message not clear, meeting told

National, Normal


THERE needs to be more information provided about condoms that are being distributed at VCT sites, clinics, and non-governmental organisations who deal with HIV/AIDS, STIs and family planning.
Anglicare StopAIDS Mt Hagen coordinator Gilman Ivana said yesterday a lot of money was used on condom awareness, demonstration and distribution programme but there was no record to show if they were actually used by men.
Mr Ivana, who was in Port Moresby for the Anglicare StopAIDS PNG meeting said many people still did not know that condoms were the main contraceptive method in planning a family.
He said people should be told that condoms did not promote sex and promiscuity, but rather promotes safe sex to keep one from contracting STIs, including HIV and unwanted pregnancies.
He also said that in Mt Hagen and everywhere else, people often asked for condoms to use as fishing bait, and for treatment for their dandruff, white spots, grille and other skin diseases.
Mr Ivana said with the large number of condoms, both male and females, that were received from the Health Department they were usually dispersed but the problem was monitoring to see that they were used correctly.
“Maybe we should start selling the condoms, so that when they really need it, then they can come and buy it from us. Right now, because they are free, people just continue to misuse them,” Mr Ivana said.
Currently, he conducted condom awareness and demonstrations and only gave out condoms to those who needed it.
“By doing so, I am able to conduct a one on one awareness on condom use and purpose,” Mr Ivana said.