Despite the massive educational programs conducted regarding safe sex and prevention of HIV/AIDS in the red light areas of West Bengal, there has been unwillingness regarding using a condom amongst visitors to the above areas.
The West Bengal State AIDS Prevention and Control Society (WBSACS), with an aim of improving safety of the commercial sex workers has proposed to distribute female condoms free of cost. The above-mentioned initiative is hoped to curb the ever-increasing rates of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in the forth-coming years.
The financial constraints faced by these sex workers prevent them from encouraging their client to use a condom. Left with no other alternative, they eventually yield to the demand by their client for sex without a condom.
Female condoms are not being manufactured in India, prompting a need for import of the same. This accounts for decreased affordability of the female condom. Infact, a single female condom costs atleast Rs. 45. This is one amongst the reasons for planning to distribute it free of cost. Besides proving a means for birth control, the female condom is also effective in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases if used appropriately and at the right time.
The Centre's sexual health resource centre would be responsible for ensuring availability of the female condom in the State. Creating popularity and awareness regarding female condoms is a task left to the challenge of the local NGO's.
The percentage of HIV positive individuals among the general population in the State has already reached 0.9 percent, according to latest projections by the WBSACS. It is feared that if necessary steps were not taken to limit it below 1%, it would result in an AIDS epidemic.
The male condom usage in our country is largely dependent on the consent of the male partner alone. However the introduction of the female condom is believed to revolutionize the existing trend, as it does not involve consent from the male partner.