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Easy condom access for all

Easy condom access for all


Within another 15 weeks condom-dispensing machines will be everywhere in the city – from nightclubs to cinemas to popular liming spots.

A condom will always be within easy reach, night or day, from any one of the 50 machines to be erected by the National AIDS Secretariat.{{more}}

Some have greeted the news with open arms and others have not.

Kingsley Duncan of Planned Parenthood believes that sex among youths is inevitable because their biological clock is ticking. Combined with the influence of music, peer pressure, and other societal stresses the young people can’t help but think about sex.

He applauded the National AIDS Secretariat on its move but according to head of the Methodist churches in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Rev Victor Job, you’re reigning in one problem and unleashing another.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that while the problem of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases may be further addressed, the easy condom access may be opening further the Pandora’s Box of sexual promiscuity.

The move comes because surveys have shown that secondary school students are not changing their sexual behaviour even though they are fully aware that they can contract AIDS, said Dr Del Hamilton.

She pleaded with condom vendors at stores and pharmacies to be accommodating to students who need the prophylactics. She said that she wants them to be able to protect themselves when they choose to have sex even though she would rather they practice abstinence at this stage in their lives (see story on page 12A).

Pharmacist Val Da Silva of People’s Pharmacy said his staff has cooperated and does not practice discrimination no matter what their personal view on youth sexuality.

“We have school boys and girls purchasing condoms regularly.”

He recalled an occasion when a boy was too hesitant to purchase condoms and his companion, a school girl, took the money from him and bravely made the purchase.

He disagreed, however, that machines will alleviate any pressure because if the young person felt any pressure purchasing condoms then that wouldn’t change whether he bought from a machine or a human being.

Alyssa Grant, a teen mom who got a second chance at secondary education after becoming pregnant at age 15, now encourages young people to abstain from sex and put their education first.