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The local Gay rights group United and Strong has donated almost six thousand condoms to help keep Saint Lucian revellers safe this carnival season.

A total of five carnival bands this week received commodities to include in costume packages for their members.
A statement from U and S notes that the contribution is expected to assist in curbing risky sexual behaviour when thousands of revellers will take to the street next week for Saint Lucia’s biggest annual cultural event, that includes heavy partying and culminating in serious revelling on carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Mindful that these conditions increase the risk for unprotected sex leading to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, United and Strong’s Executive Director, Kenita Placide, expects the ready availability of condoms as part of carnival paraphernalia will heighten awareness to the importance of protection.
The bands who have received the donations are Just 4 Fun, Royalities Xtreme, Legends Carnival Band, Red Unlimited and Saint Lucia Spirits.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the Caribbean HIV AIDS Alliance (CHAA) are the main suppliers of condoms to United and Strong. AHF this year donated over 20,000 safe sex commodities to U&S.
Although very focussed on human rights work, United and Strong’s is grounded in prevention of HIV/AIDS and elimination of stigma and discrimination of marginalized groups.

United and Strong supplies safer sex information, male and female condoms,
lubricants and dental dams directly to individuals and business places for distribution to their customers. The organisation also provides counselling and safer sex demonstrations to the public.
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