Thursday 13th April, 2006


Marketing programme launched

Easy access to condoms

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By Laura Dowrich-Phillips

If you are looking for condoms and don’t want to go to a pharmacy, you can pick one up at your favourite watering hole, club, barber shop, hairdressing salon ...or even boutique.

A campaign by Population Services International (PSI) and its Caribbean affiliate, Society for Family Health (SFH), is making condoms widely available and accessible to all sexually-active people in T&T.

The campaign, dubbed a social marketing programme, was launched on Tuesday night at Kapok Hotel.

It is aimed directly to the sexually-active population, particularly those groups who are at greater risk for HIV, and seeks to encourage safer sexual practices.

Although the distribution of condoms, all brands, to non-traditional outlets has been ongoing since January, the launch unveiled a youthful, edgy media campaign involving radio and television advertisements, T-shirts with the tagline If He Won’t, Then You Don’t and the organisation’s logo and slogan Got It? Get It.

Popular artistes and groups such as the Condom Krew will also be employed to assist in the campaign.

The campaign will be spread across the region to 12 islands, said Sally Cowal, PSI vice-president.

In her address, Cowal said a condom-friendly environment is critical to breaking down the stigma and discrimination of those who use condoms.

She said the campaign has the full support of Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

In his address, Dr Amery Browne, technical director of the National Aids Co-ordinating Committee, said the only thing which can deter HIV is a person’s behaviour.

“We had 23 long years to respond in the right way. Only three years ago, the right response was funded,” he said.

He identified homophobia, rape, incest and violation of children’s rights as some of the issues with which T&T still has to deal in the HIV/Aids fight.

He also urged the condom activists and the abstinence advocates to respect each other, stating that the only enemy is the disease.

The campaign was funded by the Pan Caribbean Partnership (PanCap), Caricom and the Canadian International Development Agency (Cida).

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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