New Delhi : The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) Monday launched the Condom Social Marketing Programme (CSMP), under the third phase of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP-III), targeting sales of 47 crore condoms across 370 districts of the country.
The CSMP will focus on increasing condom availability, particularly in rural areas as well as in non-traditional outlets like grocery shops, roadside eateries, auto/taxi workshops, barber shops etc.
“Out of the total 8 lakh outlets proposed to be covered in this phase, 5 lakh will be non-traditional outlets with 4.45 lakh in the rural areas. If it (condom) is readily available then the consistent usage could be tackled,” Aradhana Johri, NACO joint secretary, said.
In this phase, distribution of female condoms is also planned in selected areas and states.
Players attending the Commonwealth Games (CWG) as well as people accompanying them will also be handed free condoms.
“Talks for installing condom vending machines and free distribution of condoms during the games are going on with the authorities concerned,” NACO Director General K. Chandramouli told IANS.
According to Johri, major sections needing scaled up intervention are truckers and migrants and more effort will be put in this phase for these sections.
“We are also planning a separate programme for the migrants apart from this,” she added.
The objective of NACP-I, implemented in 194 districts, was to control the spread of HIV infection. NACP-II focussed on targeted inventions on high risk groups like commercial sex workers, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men. It was implemented in 294 districts with 32 crore condom sales.
NACP-III will focus on consistent condom usage.
“Condom usage has increased. In fact more people are willing to buy it instead of through free distribution. This also shows that the availability of condoms in terms of outlets have increased,” Chandramouli said.
He said that the entire pattern of the spread of AIDS is being looked into but the high prevalence area is mostly concentrated in peninsular India.
“Our programmes in states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka are doing well though tackling it in Andhra Pradesh is still a challenge. It is a slow process. Also according to an AIDS report of 2008, the number of registered HIV/AIDS affected shows a slight decrease. But we still have a long way to go,” Chandramouli said.