Thailand Valentine's Day campaign tackles condom stigma
Friday, 05 February 2016 - 16:15
Thailand has launched a campaign ahead of Valentine's Day urging teenagers not to be ashamed to carry condoms. The tone appears to have shifted from previous campaigns, where teenagers were encouraged to visit temples and go home after dates instead of having sex.
Thailand has one of the world's highest teen pregnancy rates and rising numbers of sexually transmitted infections. The campaign, slated to run until 2019, coincides with recent measures aimed at addressing teen pregnancies. Authorities have encouraged condom use in previous years alongside the promotion of abstinence. But this year they said they would focus on reducing social stigma on using condoms, as well as increasing access and improving the quality of condoms available.
Thai health ministry spokesman Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong said on Thursday: "Teenagers, especially, do not have to be embarrassed about buying condoms." "Society also has to accept that teenage girls buy condoms, which is better than more teenage girls getting pregnant," Reuters quoted him as saying.