As part of its public education campaign, the AIDS Secretariat will be distributing over 5,000 female and male condoms throughout the carnival season.
Acting AIDS Programme Manager Delcora Williams said this is the first time female condoms will be handed out as part of the programme, and women and girls are being targeted in an effort to empower them.
“We have always been pushing male condoms but there is a female condom available and we want people to use it,” Williams told The Daily OBSERVER yesterday.
“A woman condom is much more comfortable than the male because it is not tight … and because of the material (polyurethane) used in the manufacturing of the female condom, it takes up the warmth of the vagina much better than the male condom,” she added.
Personnel from the AIDS Secretariat will continue to distribute both male and female condoms on selected days at Lion’s Den, Shanty Town and other Carnival venues.
A special appeal is going out to people who drink alcohol. They are being advised to decrease the amount they consume as alcohol impairs an individual’s ability to make informed decisions as it relates to safe sex practices.
“When a person is intoxicated, you cannot guarantee what they will do but we are hoping that persons will realise that they are putting themselves at risk and decrease the amount of alcohol they are taking in,” the acting programme manager said.
“We would like to see Carnival be as alcohol-free as possible but that is not a reality so we are hoping that at least one of the partners would realise that they need some sort of protection and that protection is available to them.”
She said the distribution programme has been well received by the patrons of the events.