In a country where people still shy away from uttering the word “sex” in public, social stigma has been known to stop them from buying condom as well. That condoms make up just five per cent of the contraceptive sell in India proves that.
However, it seems that anonymity is assist, as reportedly 10 lakh condoms were ordered in merely 69 days since the liberalisation of Free Condom Store in India.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation launched the free store on April 28, and its data reveals it has delivered 9.56 lakh condoms for free. Around 5.14 lakh were requested by communities and NGOs, but the remaining( 4.41 lakh) were ordered by individuals. The necessitate from someones was high in Delhi and Karnataka.
Dr V Sam Prasad, the foundation’s India programme director, said it was quite surprised by the response.
He told the Times of India:” We guessed the stocks of 10 lakh condoms would be sufficient until December, but we operated out by the first week of July. We have ordered another 20 lakh which we will receive in the last week of November and orderings for another 50 lakh have been placed for January .”
According to experts, this surprising response from people shows social stigma is still a big issue in India. It demonstrates people are embarrassed to walk into a storage and ask for a product related to sex.
One of the panel of experts said:” That the delivery person does not know what’s in the pack, and those who take the order don’t see the person placing the ordering .”
This way, the awkwardness otherwise associated with the purchase or taking it from a volunteer goes away.
The contraceptive industry concurs. A spokesperson from Reckitt Benckiser, makers of Durex, said:” The sex wellness category faces different challenges in different cultures. A highly-developed marketplace like the UK has condom category penetration of 30 percent while in India that amount is merely 5 percent .”
He added:” The biggest challenge in India is the taboo around sex, which presents a barrier to creating awareness or even physical access .”
HIV In India
Currently, India has the third-highest number of HIV-positive people in the world, with 2.1 million living with the infection in the country, as per the UNAIDSGap Report 2016.
Yet, according to National Family Health Survey, simply 5.6 percent of those surveyed applied condoms for birth control. Unfortunately, even in progressive governments like Karnataka, the use is limited to only 1.7 percent. In Bengaluru, it’s just 3.6 percent, which is a very poor amount with regard to metropolis like Kolkata and Delhi, where the use is 19 percentage and 10 percentage, respectively
A number of firms are launching innovative awareness campaigns, and rebranding and redesigning bundles to promote condom use. The Centre and various state governments are also trying to achieve the same thing.
National AIDS Control Organisation( NACO) data displays an increase in condom usage among sexuality workers and other high-risk groups, but the organisation believes there’s still a long way to go.