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Condom Nation!

Bali Government Plans to Move Ahead with Plans to Install Condom Vending Machines in Hotels and 'Red Light' Areas of Bali.

(2/12/2006) In a move to stem rapidly growing infection rates for AIDS/HIV, the Government of Bali is lenging its support to plans to install condom vending machines, referred to locally as ATM Kondom, in hotels and the commercial sex areas of Sanur and Kuta.

The Move by the government reflects the recent passage of laws requiring customers of prostitutes, commercial sex workers, and others involved in "at risk" behavior to use condoms or face possible fines and imprisonment. The new regulations have been source of lively debate in local media where questions have been raised on the practical difficulties of enforcing the new law; whether or not the legislation actually encourages promiscuous sexual behavior; and how the government can legislate against specific behavior during activities that are, in fact, already prohibited under the law.

Commenting on the plan for ATM Kondom, Bali's Governor Dewa Made Beratha said the growing number of deaths resulting from HIV/AIDS no longer permitted Bali the luxury of a prolonged pro and con discussion regarding making condoms more accessible to the public. The Governor said that in addition to the dispensers, signs would be posted advising the public and visitors of the law requiring condom's be used in certain situations.

The Governor's plan still requires the final approval from Bali's provincial parliamentarians

The laws on "safe sex" and condom usage also governs blood and organ donation, and the use of sterile syringes. Those found violating the law face up to six months in prison and fines of Rp. 50 million (approximately US$5,260).