The German Aids Service Organization is giving out free condoms to refugees as part of a campaign to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and to inform people about the German health system.
Starting today, refugee reception centers and migrant organizations can claim free condoms for wider distribution. The German Aids Service Organization (Deutsche Aids-Hilfe) is giving away a total of 350,000 contraceptives. All wrappers link to the campaign website "your-health.tips".
The site has information in five languages (English, French, Russian, Arabic, German) about sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, and about HIV prevention. It also explains how the German health system works and how refugees and asylum seekers can access medical services.
The Aids Service wants to encourage people to get tested for HIV. Chair member Björn Beck says: "We want to get the message out: If you’re HIV-positive, then there is help available. People around you don’t have to find out. We will support you." Many people don’t want to get tested because they fear isolation and hostility, Beck says.
"It’s also urgent that anonymous treatment be made available for people without residence status, formal papers or health insurance“, the organization says in a statement. Those people are especially vulnerable because they also fear deportation.
The organization says the campaign is specifically targetted at migrants from countries where HIV is widespread, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Russia, as well as gay and transgender migrants.
The goal is that people who are affected can receive early treatment and transmission can be reduced.
HIV treatment can lead to good results if the disease is diagnosed early. With the right therapy, transmission can be suppressed, the organization says. Every year, more than 1,000 people in Germany are infected with Aids or another severe immune deficiency.
The German Aids Service offers free telephone and online counseling to answer questions about HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted infections. Its staff members provide information about finding local assistance or self-help groups, among others. If you’re within Germany, you can call this number: 0180 33 19411.
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If you're a migrant, you can ask at your local reception center or at a migrant aid organization if they are participating in the campaign "Your health!". Organizations can order the condoms through the German Aids Service directly via this online form.
•••• ➤ Where to find the German Aids Service: