Get free condoms!
By Sara Marett
Did you know there have been 15,101 reported cases of AIDS in Canada as of June 1997 and 11,046 AIDS-related deaths? Did you also know that Western gives out free condoms to students?
Student Health Services receives approximately 5,000 condoms each year from the London/Middlesex Public Health Unit, who in turn receives funding for the condoms from the Ministry of Health as part of a province-wide AIDS prevention program, explained Cyndy Camp, health education coordinator at SHS.
Lily Weedon, spokesperson for the Ministry, said the government spends $1.5 million annually for the AIDS prevention program.
"Last year we asked the Ministry for approximately $20,000 to purchase condoms for this program," said Myrna Fisk, public health nurse at the London/Middlesex Public Health Unit.
She explained upon receiving the funding from the government, the health unit approaches a condom manufacturer who provides them with the condoms at a discounted price. "We then distribute them to different agencies in the community such as the AIDS Committee of London and also to Western," Fisk added.
Camp said once SHS receives the condoms, they provide them for students in their office as well as distribute them to the residences and groups on campus involved with alcohol and AIDS awareness weeks, but once they are gone, they're gone. "We didn't put them in frosh kits this year because they usually just get lost with all the paper," Camp said.
There are so many other people handing out condoms during frosh week that we decided to just have our information team handing them out, she said, adding all residence advisors also have condoms in their rooms for students.