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Colombia town
considers requiring men to carry condoms

Colombia town
considers requiring men to carry condoms

A western 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 themselves."

Father Jesus 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. (Reuters)

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