Teens 'deserve right' to carry condoms
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Teens 'deserve right' to carry condoms

Society should not stigmatise teens buying condoms, says Kriangkrai Vachiratamporn, director of the popular series Hormones.

"Many parents tell their kids to pray for goodness or carry amulets to protect them. But the kids are not allowed to carry condoms," he said.

Condoms should be common among teens. Carrying condoms could save them from future emergencies, he said, speaking at a press briefing on safe sex hosted by the Department of Disease Control (DDC) Thursday in Bangkok.

Panumard Yarnwaidsakul, the DDC's deputy director-general, said the department, the United Nations Population Fund and ThaiHealth had worked on the National Condom Strategy 2015-2019 aimed at encouraging public-private partnerships to promote regular condom use and make them more acceptable to the public.

This includes five strategies: reducing stigma over condom use, increasing access to condoms and education for proper use, improving the quality of condoms, strengthening public-private partnerships and developing an evaluation system to assess the issue.

Dr Panumard said condom use must be encouraged at every social level, stressing the fact that condoms are a part of normal daily life.

The DDC distributed 20 million free condoms last year while working with the private sector to improve condom packaging and increase access to condoms.

According to the DDC, the number of sexually transmitted diseases doubled over the last decade, with a five-fold increase for individuals aged 10 to 19.

There were 445,504 cases of HIV in Thailand in 2014. Among them 7,816 were new infections, 90% of which resulted from unprotected sex.

A DDC survey last year of people aged 15 and older, found that 76.8% of respondents had a good understanding of condom use, while the 2014 figure was 86.2%.

Almost half of the respondents said they felt too shy to buy condoms.

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