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Condom Promotion-Crucial To HIV/AIDS Prevention

itted infections.

Coming back home, to India, though the basic findings apply here as well, surprises exist too.

The swank bar of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) at Kala Gram will surely surprise you the moment you walk into it. From offering free condoms to condom-shaped beer mugs, the first-of-its-kind condom bar in the country will not only offer an unconventional ambience, but also spread a social message. Condoms in different sizes, color and texture carrying different price tags would be widely available in the bar, CITCO managing director J.S. Bir says. Free condoms of a particular quality will also be available.

Offering all kinds of alcoholic beverages, the bar will be inaugurated on May 2 and will have timings similar to the others in the city but it'sexclusivity lies somewhere else.

While the interior of the bar has been designed with condoms, beer mugs are condom shaped and waiters' attire are printed with condoms. The entrance of the bar has a huge red ribbon, symbolizing HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives. Besides, in want of change currency of lower denomination, the bar will try to push condoms to its customers (recall toffees being offered by some shopkeepers).

"The bar aims at providing awareness on condom use to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission. It is part of our social commitment initiatives," says Bir.

So, what is their goal? "Our major target is the youth. There is no commercial consideration. “It is our social responsibility”, Bir stresses.

The bar will not only sell liquor but also promote healthier drinks. Reasonable discounts would be also offered in health drinks segment, says Bir.

Although condom use has increased in India over the past few decades, barely more than 3 percent of sexually active people regularly use condoms; even then, it is mainly for contraception rather than protection against HIV and other
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