Himachal facing 30 lakh condom deficit

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Shimla, Jul 13: There is an acute shortage of condoms in Himachal Pradesh and the state have had to face it since the last six months. The matter is so bad that they have to borrow condoms from Punjab. The free distribution of condoms among high risk groups for sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS have been seriously affected.

According to comments made by the Himachal AIDS Control Society, the state is facing a shortage of close to 30 lakh condoms. They claimed that the state had not received the state's annual share of 35-40 lakh from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) this year.

Health Minister Rajeev Bindal has been quoted as saying, “We are in regular touch with NACO for early supply of condoms. But we haven't got any. There is no reason for the supply to be stopped. Since the state is facing a shortage, we have requested Punjab to provide us five lakh condoms from its quota. We will return the borrowed condoms as and when we get the supply from the central pool."

The various AIDS control projects in the state seem to be hit badly. The Himachal AIDS Control Society is engaged in curbing the killer disease by distributing free condoms through 50 integrated counseling and testing centres and close to 150 petrol pumps. It is also being distributed through 23 voluntary organisations.

A source working for a voluntary organisation commented, “Many people, including truck drivers and even college-going students, are coming daily to ask for condoms. But there has been no stock since January-end."

Himachal Pradesh has close to 1401 AIDS infected people and 5198 HIV positive people. The most cases are reported from Hamirpur, Mandi and Kangra districts. There has been a considerable decrease in the HIV cases due to effective awareness and condom distribution programmes.

OneIndia News

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