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Condoms, condoms everywhere!

Thu 26 Jan 2006 In: New Zealand Daily News

Over 200,000 condoms have been distributed by the AIDS Foundation in the past six months to gay and bisexual men, and this is good news, says NZAF Gay Men's Health Coordinator Douglas Jenkin, because it means a lot of MSM are still using condoms for anal sex to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. “It's great to think there's been so much safe sex going on,” he says, “But we still need to do better. New HIV diagnoses among MSM are rising faster than ever before. In the first half of 2005 we were averaging one new HIV diagnosis among MSM every four days, the majority of those in Auckland.” Most people are behaving themselves, however. “Our surveys,” Jenkin says, “and the sheer amount of condoms distributed, indicate most men are still using condoms for anal sex, but, in a community like ours, it only takes a small slippage in the level of commitment to condoms to produce a dramatic rise in new HIV infections.” In the first half of 2004 the Foundation successfully negotiated a deal for Pharmac, the Government's medicines funding agency (which in this case includes condoms), to supply the NZAF Gay Men's Health programme with 300,000 condoms per year for distribution to MSM. By the end of last year, 215,848 condoms had been distributed, approximately half under the subsidised scheme. The balance was paid for by the Foundation. Condoms have been supplied through gay sex-on-site venues, gay bars, nightclubs, dance parties, gay community events and other NZAF health promotion initiatives.     Ref: (c)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Thursday, 26th January 2006 - 12:00pm

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