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‘Provide greater access to female condoms’

Women leaders from around the world have appealed to governments and international donor agencies to provide greater access to female condoms to check the spread of HIV/AIDS.

By: Agencies | New York |
August 6, 2008 3:08:28 pm

Women leaders from around the world have appealed to governments and international donor agencies to provide greater access to female condoms to check the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“It is distressing that women make up half of those infected by HIV and policy makers are refusing to provide them with the tools they need to negotiate safer sex,” Serra Sippel, Executive Director of the Centre for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), international secretariat for Prevention Now! said on Tuesday.

Other women leaders attending the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico city echoed her views.

With rates of HIV/AIDS infection among women climbing to more than 60 per cent in some regions, it is more important than ever that governments and international donor agencies invest in female condoms as an HIV/AIDS prevention method, they said.

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“African women, including female sex workers, need the knowledge and tools necessary to empower them to take prevention into their own hands,” said Bernice Heloo, President of the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa International.

She called upon the US government to increase support for purchasing and distribution of female condoms.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has taken lead in making female condom available through its Global Female Condom Initiative with aid of country-driven female condom strategy.

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But in 2007, fewer than 26 million female condoms were distributed worldwide – just one for every 100 women in Asia, Latin America and Africa between the ages of 15 and 49.

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First published on: 06-08-2008 at 03:08:28 pm

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