Condom vending machines to be installed in call centres

September 13th, 2008 - 12:46 am ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Sep 12 (IANS) With the HIV/AIDS threat rising to IT companies and call centres, the Andhra Pradesh Sate AIDS Control Society (APSACS) plans to install condom vending machines in their campuses.The authorities have begun approaching call centres and BPO companies to persuade them to install condom vending machines.

“This is under process. The machines will be installed soon,” APSACS project director Chandravadan said Friday in response to a query at a news conference here.

He, however, declined to share the details and said IT companies would not want their names to be made public as this could bring them a bad name.

Experts have warned that the AIDS threat was rising at call centers, where young employees are increasingly having unprotected sex with multiple partners in affairs developed during nights shifts.

Hyderabad, one of the key IT hubs in the country, has numerous call centres and BPO companies that employ over 100,000 people.

APSACS has also sought permission from the government to install a condom vending machine at state secretariat as part of its efforts to encourage use of condoms.

In another move, the authorities decided to introduce an adolscene education programme in schools and colleges from Sep 15.

Chandravadan said the programme would be introduced in classes 9 and 10 in 16,000 schools and 850 junior, medical and engineering colleges. The programme will cover two million students every year.

The programme, a joint initiative of ministry of human resource development and the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), aims to equip every child between 10 and 19 years of age with scientific information, knowledge and life skills to protect them from HIV infection and manage their reproductive and sexual health.

“The programme includes issues related to the growing up process, myths and misconceptions about sexuality, adolscent reproductive and sexual health concerns, physical and mental health, HIV and AIDS and skills to face life’s challenges,” Chandravadan said.

Under the programme, there will be lessons for 16 hours every academic year. Two teachers from each school will be trained to take classes under the programme.

APSACS, with the help of the Satyam Foundation of Satyam Computer Services Limited, has developed a toolkit for the programme.

The authorities have also decided to hold meetings with parents, religious leaders, political parties and educational institutions to take them into confidence in view of their reservations about the programme.

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