Condom day observed

KATHMANDU: The 15th National Condom Day was marked today with the slogan 'increase access to condom for dual protection'.

Khadga Bahadur Basyal, state minister for health and population, urged people to change their attitude and use condom for safer sex. He said the government was formulating policy, targeting HIV positive groups, female sex workers and the clients.

Addressing a programme organised to mark the day, the minister appealed for help to create awareness on condom use. National Condom day is observed on the first Saturday following the Kojagrat Poornima every year. Shanta Gurung, HIV/AIDS coordinator, USAID, said the agency was working to spread awareness in high risk areas.

Dr Gridhar Pandey, deputy director, Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), said people were still hesitating to use condom. He said about 40 million condoms are sold in the the Nepali market annually.

According to a research carried out by the FPAN, only 48 per cent women use contraceptives despite awareness.

He said efforts were underway to include safe sex education in school curricula and to train teachers.