Nova Scotia

Condom program at risk in Cape Breton after donations stop

A condom manufacturer has stopped donating condoms to the AIDS Coalition in Cape Breton, jeopardizing its free condom program.

Nova Scotia goverment won't fund condoms for the AIDS Coalition program

Cape Breton's Centre for Sexual Health said losing the condom program could mean more unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. (iStock)

A condom manufacturer has stopped donating condoms to the AIDS Coalition in Cape Breton, jeopardizing its free condom program.

The AIDS Coalition of Cape Breton said it hands out about 10,000 condoms per year.

The company was bought by a large American conglomerate that said giving away its product wasn't good business.

The federal government has said it does not want its funding used to supply condoms.

Christine Porter, executive director of the coalition, said access to condoms means a healthier community.

"We look at HPV now as being one of the big things that could lead to cervical cancer and now you're not just preventing HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies, but now you're even preventing cancer," she said.

Cathy Penny, the head of Cape Breton's Centre for Sexual Health, said losing the condom program could mean more unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

"To have a condom program close down has an impact because a lot of times younger men and women won't take the money they have to spend and use it on something like that because they feel they are at a very low risk," she said.

The AIDS Coalition needs to raise between $8,000 and $10,000 to hand out the condoms anonymously.

Funds raised at the annual AIDS Walk for Life in September are used to support people living with HIV/AIDS, but Porter said this year the money will also be used to buy as many condoms as possible.

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