New Delhi: AHF India Cares Launches 'LOVE Condom' Campaign
Campaign Kicks Off with Event Today- Includes Free Condom Distribution,Unveiling of Innovative 'Stay Negative' Ad
New Delhi, India - July 17, 2009 - AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is launching its 'LOVE Condom'
campaign with an event today in the New Delhi region on the 18th of July, 2009. The campaign includes the distribution of free AHF 'LOVE'-brand condoms, as well as a 'Stay Negative'
public service advertising campaign. Bollywood actor Ronit Roy will be the chief guest at today's launch event. The event will be at Metropolitan Hotel Nikko, New Delhi. This campaign will be a new start of HIV AIDS education in India.
AHF, which operates the largest community-based alternative HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing program, has launched an innovative
and eye-catching Delhi/NCR HIV prevention and testing campaign urging the public to "Stay Negative" and to visit www.freehivtest.net to find out where to get tested quickly, conveniently and at no cost.
Ms. Terri Ford, Senior Global Policy Director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation USA, presently on a mission to India is advocating this
worldwide campaign as "a new beginning to restore the condom's critical place at the front-line of effective Global AIDS Prevention and Control. 'A rupee saves a life' - therefore, there
is no reason not to provide free condoms with easy access-it is the most cost-effective HIV prevention that there is. Combined efforts that include encouraging the widespread use of condoms,
community testing and universal access to antiretroviral treatment will bring new infections down drastically".
Dr. Chinkholal Thangsing, Asia Pacific Bureau Chief, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is ecstatic about India's launch of Global STAY NEGATIVE
and LOVE CONDOM campaign. AHF's LOVE Condom Campaign slogan says "Love yourself-Love your partner-Love Condoms."
"With the vast majority of the population still having difficulty accessing free condoms, this advocacy initiative will in many ways enhance government initiative on
HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs," said Dr. Thangsing. "There are many uncertainties when addressing people's sexual behaviors but the one thing we know for sure - HIV testing,
detection and linkage to medical care works. The best way to break the chain of infection is for people to get tested and know their status."
The attention-grabbing image of a semi-nude male with the words "Stay Negative" tattooed on his upper back is already having an impact. An increase in traffic
to the www.freeHIVTest.net website has also coincided with an increase in testing at AHF sites.
"The Launch of LOVE CONDOMS by AHF India Cares will enable millions of vulnerable population in the country stay protected from HIV and other STD's. HLL is delighted
to partner with AHF's Mission", says M. Ayyappan, Chairman & Managing Director, HLL Lifecare Limited.
"A major goal of the Stay Negative campaign is to help guide a shift in thinking around HIV testing. With its eye-catching image and simple, straightforward message,
our hope is that the initiative will lead people to see HIV testing as a necessary and routine part of their health care-especially when they realize how easy it can be to access testing and obtain
this crucial knowledge about their own status" says Dr. Mahesh Ganesan promoting this noble cause.
"A key component of the initiative is its website which contains crucial information about HIV transmission, prevention and treatment, including facts about
condom use. The site also contains an extensive "myth vs. reality" section that frankly addresses false beliefs surrounding HIV that may prevent some individuals from accessing
testing" says Dr. Nochiketa Mohanty.
About The Love Condom Campaign
This campaign is aimed to bring public-private partnership to address access to free condoms and shall complement ongoing social marketing and free distribution of condoms promoted
by GOI. Health is a state subject and we are particularly interested to interact directly with the decision makers at the helm of affairs to keep transparency and accountability at the forefront
of our campaign.
The LOVE Condom Campaign's goal is to scale-up global support for renewed condom usage by distributing TEN MILLION WHO approved, high-quality condoms FREE of charge
to any individual, non-governmental or government agency that makes a commitment to support the campaign's aim of achieving 100% access to free condoms worldwide. To achieve 'Global AIDS Control'
an aggressive re-integration of condoms is critical to success. The ABC model of Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condoms, proven to be so successful in countries such as Uganda, loses its strength without
the C - CONDOMS. The campaign vows to base public health initiatives on science rather than on political or religious motivated agendas the time is now to call for CONDOMS to be brought back to the
Why are Condoms So Important for Global HIV and STD Control?
If global AIDS control is defined as an absolute reduction in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world, then condoms are key to successfully achieving that goal. Treatment
has played a crucial role in bringing hope to millions and in motivating masses of people to be tested. The huge success of the recent World AIDS Day - 1 Million Test campaign-during which men,
women and children lined up across the globe to be tested-demonstrates that people want to know their status.
The simple formula for global AIDS control involves identifying those who are undiagnosed and linking them to treatment, which will render them less infectious. In addition,
we must promote the only known method for preventing the sexual transmission of HIV: condoms.
Condoms are cheaper and are relatively easy to use. They are almost 100% effective when used correctly. Various societies have had success in bringing about higher acceptance
of condom use. Many studies show that most people who know they are positive want to protect their partners. Lack of availability of condoms and their retail cost are significant factors in failure to
Let's bring the CONDOM back into the equation. Lives are at stake. To know more about LOVE Condom Campaign, visit www.getfreecondoms.org.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the US' largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 80,000 individuals
in 22 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Communications Director, AHF
(323) 860-5225 work,
(323) 791-5526 mobile
Associate Director of Communications, AHF
(323) 860-5227 work,
(323) 377-4312 mobile