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Thu Oct 23 06:29:32 SAST 2014

Argentina to hand out 82 million condoms, 17 million lubricating gels

Sapa-AFP | 05 January, 2013 14:12
According to new research, many people don't use condoms correctly.
Image by: ©Dino O. / shutterstock.com

Argentina plans to give out 82 million condoms nationwide in 2013 in a campaign against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, the health ministry said Friday.

The condoms will be handed out at health centers, schools, prisons, bars and nightclubs, as well as through a network of nearly 3 000 fixed spots at public agencies.

The free distribution of condoms -- and of 17 million lubricating gels -- aims to "ensure access to preventative methods against sexually transmitted diseases," the ministry said in a statement.

Lubrication helps prevent condoms from tearing and helps avoid abrasions, which could lead to contaminated blood infecting the partner.

In Argentina, about 5 500 people are newly diagnosed with HIV each year, and "90% of new infections come from sex without using condoms," it added.

However, the agency noted that the number of new HIV infections has dropped by more than 30% since 2004, and the infection rate in 2010 stood at 11.7 cases per 100 000, down from 17.3 per 100 000.

Argentina has a population of 40 million people, 30 million of whom are over 15 years old.

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