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Since 2005, UNFPA has launched the Global Condom Initiative which works in 72 countries to increase both the demand for, and the supply of, condoms at the national level. In carrying out this initiative UNFPA has implemented a programme called comprehensive condom programming.

This programme is a series of activities which aims to ensure that those at risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, or unintended pregnancies are motivated to use male or female condoms. They must have access to quality condoms, also have accurate information and
knowledge to use condoms correctly and consistently. Comprehensive condom programming integrates various activities including male and female condom promotion, communication for behaviour change, market research, also advocacy and coordinated management of supplies.

To better promote comprehensive condom programming in Indonesia, UNFPA has assisted by providing one million female condoms for the year 2010. On 5 July 2010, UNFPA, the National AIDS Commission (NAC) and BKKBN signed an agreement on a collaboration to distribute female condoms. Distribution of condoms from UNFPA will be managed by NAC in coordination with
BKKBN giving priority to 12 provinces with high HIV prevalence including North Sumatra, Riau, West Java, East Java, Central Java, Bali, and Papua. NAC will deliver the condoms to regional AIDS Commissions which will distribute them to condom outlets close to sex workers.

NAC will coordinate distribution of the female condoms with a focus on groups who are most at risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, while BKKBN will coordinate promotion of condoms for the public focusing for the family planning programme.

Female condoms are important because male condom use remains low and becomes a risk to their partner. Since many men are reluctant to use condoms, a female condom will provide women with the right to protect herself from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

UNFPA Representative, Dr. Zahidul Huque, reminded that availability of female condoms have become more urgent due to the rise of HIV among women infected by their partners. “The female condom enables a women to better protect herself and her family, especially her baby,” said Dr. Huque added.

Until now female condom availability is very poor in Indonesia and globally. In 2009, only one female condom was distributed for every 36 women worldwide. The cost of a female condom which can be five times of a male condom remains to be a large hindrance.

Comprehensive condom programming is a key institutional priority for UNFPA, because condoms, both male and female, are recognized as the only currently available and effective way to prevent HIV – and other sexually transmitted infections – among sexually active people. And because of this, UNFPA looks forward to continue working with various partners in Indonesia to help address these important issues.