A Chilean health ministry official on Tuesday was fired for endorsing the distribution of condoms in a state-owned newspaper, reports the Las Vegas Sun. Juan Domingo Silva, head of public affairs at the health ministry's AIDS prevention office, was fired after voicing approval of one-time condom distribution in La Nacion without consulting his superior, health minister Pedro Garcia. "The ministry has a chain of authority that must be respected," Garcia said. The Sunday edition of the newspaper included a condom stuck to a page with the logo of the health ministry's AIDS office. Silva said he had notified his manager, Anabella Arredondo, of the article and the attached condoms.
Although the ministry said it supports the use of condoms for HIV prevention, it "rejects that a condom that lacks the approval of the Public Health Institute be distributed with the government's logo." The health ministry denies that the AIDS office had been informed of the newspaper's intentions. "Our participation was limited only to providing information about the correct use of a condom," it said in a statement.