Bank Gives Shy Thais Condoms

Thailand bank fights aids with free hand outs
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2007 11:10 AM CDT
Condom vending machine, Shanghai, China.JPG   ((c) gruntzooki)
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(Newser) – Some unusual withdrawals will be taking place later this month as Thailand's Kasikorn Bank begins giving away free condoms, branded with the bank's logo, at its 600 branches.  Called "Condoms for Confidence," the campaign to combat the spread of AIDS  seeks to alleviate embarrassment felt by many in conservative Thailand. “Women who buy condoms from convenience stores always get a strange look,” a health official told Reuters.

"Even those bank customers who don't need to use the condoms, they can pass them on to their families or friends," he added. Thailand’s aggressive HIV campaign has cut cases from 100,000 in the 1990s to just 13,000 last year. But as that push faded, high numbers of teenagers and homosexuals were still being infected. Less than half of high-schoolers surveyed use condoms.