AIDS Concern has started to distribute free condoms in a vending machine in the New Asia College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The ongoing collaboration between AIDS Concern and the New Asia College Student Union receives positive feedback from university students and more than 1,200 free condoms have been distributed in the last six months.
Tang Hiu Fung, General Affairs Secretary of the New Asia College Student Union agreed that providing free condoms to students in the university campus could help promote awareness of safer sex, to prevent the spread of STI/HIV and unplanned pregnancy. He suggests promoting the program to the entire campus of CUHK or even other local institutions if the result is positive.
Mandy Cheung, Program Director of AIDS Concern, is happy that the collaboration enjoys vast support from university students. “There is a prominent increase in the HIV infection rate among young people in recent years and more effort on HIV prevention work shall be invested.” Mandy then makes reference to Taiwan, where approximately 10 universities with condom vending machines have been installed up to the end of 2014, and a series of preventive education programs has been launched aiming to reduce the infection rate among young people.
“Providing university students with easy access to condoms is an effective means to control the spread of STI/HIV and Hong Kong should model on what Taiwan has done and carry out pilot schemes in local tertiary institutions.” Mandy said. She also pointed out that youth is one of the highest risk groups that AIDS Concern focuses their services on. For many years, AIDS Concern approaches young people through free HIV/AIDS education and testing services to promote the importance of safer sex, in order to reduce their risk of HIV infection.
For interested student organisations, please kindly contact the Youth Team of AIDS Concern for more details about receiving free condoms and collaboration.