Bangkok handing out free condoms ahead of Valentine's Day

Bangkok handing out free condoms ahead of Valentine's Day

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is handing out 2 million free condoms in a campaign for safe sex ahead of Valentine's Day, with sexually transmitted infections on the rise among the young.

Panruedee Manomaipibul, director of the city health department, said on Thursday the condoms would be available for free in all 50 districts of the capital under City Hall's "Start Safe SEX, Use Condom" campaign.

"Please always carry protective gear including condoms, lubricant, face masks and alcohol gel. Clean bodies both before and after having sex. This is to prevent Aids, sexually transmitted diseases and Covid-19," Ms Panruedee said.

The director forecast there would be 81,465 people living with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) in the capital this year, with 1,128 new cases.

Last year there were 6,450 cases of sexually transmitted disease recorded in Bangkok, and the number was rising each year, she said.

There were 40.64 cases of syphilis per 100,000 people in 2020. The rate was higher among people aged 15-24, at 50.4 per 100,000 people, up from 11 in 2015.

The rate of gonorrhoea was also high among people in the young age range, at 58.8 per 100,000 people.

"Sexually transmitted infections tend to rise according to the relatively low use of condoms among young people," Ms Panruedee said.

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