Iran installing condom dispensers in Tehran
With 2 million regular drug users and 700 tonnes of narcotics consumed annually in the country, you need a lot more than five vending machines!
(DailyTimes-Thursday, April 17, 2008)
TEHRAN: Iran is installing vending machines in Tehran to sell cheap condoms and syringes to drug addicts to prevent the spread of AIDS and hepatitis, an official said on Wednesday.
"Five machines will be installed at Tehran city's welfare shelters for addicts," the deputy head of Iran's anti-narcotics organisation, Mohammad Reza Jahani, said. "Condoms, syringes, bandages and plasters will be easily accessible just by inserting a coin. This will help protect addicts from acquiring AIDS and hepatitis," he added, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
He said that a single 500 rial (five cents) coin is required to purchase the items. "The machines will be used for a three month trial period and if the scheme is successful then we will upgrade them and increase their distribution to other shelters," he said.
Iranian officials normally estimate the number of regular drug users at two million, in a country with a population of more than 71 million. Iran is situated along one of the main trafficking routes for cannabis, heroin, opium and morphine produced in Afghanistan, and designer drugs have also found their way into the Iranian market in recent years. Of the 2,500 tonnes of narcotics that enter Iran from neighbouring Afghanistan annually, some 700 tonnes are consumed in the country, officials say. Condoms are freely available in Iranian pharmacies. afp