The shortage of condoms in some state health departments in Brazil is soon likely also to harm programs conducted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaged in the struggle against AIDS.
This is what some NGOs, such as the Rainbow Group of Brasília, which works with homosexuals, are afraid of.
“We also receive quotas of condoms from the government to look after our population, and this quota is reduced when there is a shortage of condoms. As a result, we are forced to be remiss with both the individuals who are already enrolled with the institution and the events we sponsor to popularize the use of condoms,” affirms the president of the NGO, Antônio Lisboa.
For the past two weeks the Ministry of Health has been trying to regularize condom stocks in state health departments. According to the National STD/AIDS Program, 35 million condoms were sent to the 26 states and the Federal District in August alone, and another 65 million are awaiting certification.
Overall, 104 million condoms have been distributed so far this year, although the Ministry has sufficient guaranteed funds to acquire 700 million units.
The problem, as explained by the director of the Ministry of Health’s National STD/AIDS Program, Pedro Chequer, is the poor quality of the condoms furnished by some suppliers and producers’ inability to meet all of the country’s demand.
To resolve this problem, the Ministry has already negotiated an agreement to obtain 150 million units through the intermediation of the United Nations Population Fund and the World Bank.
“With this we shall reach somewhere between 400 and 500 million condoms in December – which would be the largest number ever distributed in the country,” Chequer affirmed.