Bengaluru: As the country prepares to celebrate Valentine's Day, studies present a rather gloomy picture of the state's awareness about condom use. According to The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) only 2.2 per cent of urban Karnataka uses condoms as a means of family planning and in rural Karnataka the number drops to 0.6 per cent. Going by the same survey, only 3.6 per cent Bengalureans use condoms as a means of family planning.
Disturbingly, only 9.8 per cent of women and 25 per cent of men in the state have comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS, although 58 per cent of women in the state are aware condoms can reduce the chances of contracting the disease .
The survery reveals that of the 3,11, 896 cumulative number of HIV cases registered at ART centres in Karnataka only 1,48, 545 had survived until September 2017. These numbers throw light on the immediate need for proper sex education and awareness about sexual health, it notes.
"People’s perception about STDs and contraceptives needs to change. Sex education enables people to be more responsible when having sex," points out Dr V Sam Prasad, country programme director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation. He is not wrong as around 54 per cent have had unprotected sex, the most common reason being they believed the other person was STD free, the survey reveals.
The foundation has supplied 2600 condoms to NGOs across the state and 33264 to individuals or activists, who have applied for the condom from the free condom store.