Venezuela Shoppers Paying Over $700 for Condoms Amid High Rates, Statistics of HIV, AIDS & Teen Pregnancies
Trojan condoms now cost a month's wages for an average person in Venezuela. A box of 36 condoms can cost upwards of $755 for Venezuelans.
A long line in supermarkets for corn, milk and sugar has been customary for a few years in the country, and the skyrocketed price for common goods like condoms in the country stems from the flailing economy and the shortage of goods throughout the nation, according to a report by Bloomberg Business. Venezuelans are facing inflation of more than 60 percent, exacerbated by falling oil prices that have reduced the country's oil export earnings. Venezuela's foreign-currency earnings are from crude oil. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has responded to the economic crisis by cutting imports into the country.
According to Newsweek, Venezuelans can acquire condoms at a price of 4,760 bolivars, or $755. Most pharmacies either carry no condoms or other contraceptives or an extremely limited amount for a very high cost. Emergency contraceptives and anti-retroviral pills for HIV patients have all but disappeared from shelves.
The high cost of condoms in the country is especially concerning in Venezuela.
The nation is facing incredibly high teen pregnancy rates and the highest HIV/AIDs rates in Latin America. Venezuela has the third-fastest rate of HIV/Aids after Paraguay and Brazil. The World Bank puts teen pregnancy rates in the country at 83 per 1,000. Abortion is illegal in the country.
"An unwanted teenage pregnancy is a mark of government's failure: failure of its economic, public health and educational policy," said Carlos Cabrera, a practicing gynecologist in Caracas.
According to Carbera, teen pregnancies force girls to leave school and the work force, further decimating the country's economy.
Citizens in the country's capital can go to one of three family planning centers in the area run by IPPF subsidiary PlaFam in order to get condoms for 3 bolivars a piece.