TAGS: condom vending machine, vending, coin-operated condom machine, Thailand Public Health Minister, Nagaland, Witthaya Buranasiri, Kuzholuzo Nienu, HIV, AIDS
BANGKOK -- When Thailand's Public Health Minister greeted dignitaries from Nagaland, located in the northeastern part of India, he offered up an unusual gift. Minister Witthaya Buranasiri's gift of a condom vending machine might have normally raised diplomatic eyebrows, except for the fact that the delegation, which made the visit in August, was part of the Nagaland's Legislative Forum on AIDS.
"The objective of the visit was to meet with the Thai health minister to discuss Thailand's success with condom promotion in Thailand and coordination amongst NGOs, law-enforcing agencies, to tackle the prevalence of HIV/AIDS," said Nagaland Health Minister Kuzholuzo Nienu.
Officials in both Thailand and India have taken aggressive steps to stem occurrences of HIV and AIDS in their countries, where the virus and the disease it causes are considered to be epidemics. India has increasingly relied on condom venders in a joint effort that combines public sector support and private entrepreneurship.