Colombian town has angered the influential Catholic Church
with a novel scheme to cut HIV
infections--threatening males over age 14 with
fines if they fail to carry a condom.
Young men in the
community, most of whom start having sex at about age
15, according to a poll, should carry condoms just as they
have to carry identification cards, Tulua town
councilman William Pena told El Tiempo newspaper.
Those who fail to show a condom would have to pay a
small fine or take a three-hour course in HIV
prevention in Tulua, where 14 people died of sexually
transmitted diseases last year.
"This is a
country with a lot of sexual activity, and Tulua is no
exception," Pena told El Tiempo. "This measure
would not oblige anyone to have sex, only to protect
Velasquez of the local Catholic church said he wouldn't let
the measure pass without a fight, comparing it to "selling
guns in the streets." "What is required is education
and respect for moral and Christian values," he said.