Spain’s Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality is omitting condoms from its latest HIV prevention campaign.
The campaign, aimed at men who have sex with men, originally included the distribution of 100,000 condoms and lubricants intended for gay pride and related events throughout the year.
Headed by Ana Mato, the health ministry has unexpectedly changed the contents of the packages that will now only include pamphlets on HIV prevention and testing.
‘We are in times when we need to maximize efficiency and we can still provide the same product (condom and pamphlet) only separately,’ said the ministry in a statement.
According to El Economista, omitting condoms from the campaign packaging saves the ministry approximately â‚¬9,000 ($11,426).
In response to the ministry’s campaign adjustment, several LGBT and sex-rights groups originally working with the campaign announced their decision to no longer with the National AIDS Plan.
The FederaciÃ³n Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales (FELGTB), FundaciÃ³n TriÃ¡ngulo, Coordinadora Gai-Lesbiana, Hispanosida y Stop Sida released a statement saying the Ministry has violated their agreement.
FELGTB told Gay Star News that the unexpected change of plans sends a clear message.
The various groups have already taken matters into their own hands, assuming possession of the free condoms.
FELGTB told GSN that they will continue distributing the condoms as intended, excluding the ministry’s original pamphlet from this packaging.
The groups announced they have still not reached an accord with the ministry of health, and despite asking for explanations, they still have not been informed as to the motive for why the NAP rejected the condoms available for free.
According to avert.org, an international HIV and AIDS charity, Spain had the second-highest rate (2.0 per 100,000 population) of AIDS diagnoses in Western Europe in 2010, preceded by Portugal (3.3) and followed by Switzerland (1.9).