The Information and Broadcasting ministry in an advisory issued to all television channels on Monday said advertising for condoms will not be allowed between 6 am and 10 pm. The announcement has raised a concern in several health circles particularly organisations working on HIV-AIDS control programme.Speaking about the issue, Dr V Sam Prasad, country program director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, “The ban will create a negative impact on society. After banning the ads, teenagers will actively use social media to look for information. If the right message is not conveyed to children, it will be a big problem for them. It should actually be a dinner-table topic to discuss with the family members.”The data revealed by Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) states that HIV infection among youth aged 15 to 29 years is about 31 per cent of the total infections.Dr Shrikala Acharya, spokesperson and additional project director of MDACS, said, “It won’t have any negative impact since people are aware of the fact that condoms are used to have protected sex. The younger generation is active on social media sites like YouTube, WhatsApp where they can easily access data and videos. Banning it on TV will not have any negative impact on the AIDS control programme organised by the government.”Ashok Row Kavi, Chairperson, The Humsafar Trust, said, “This is a regressive decision.”

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Banning condom ads is not a solution, say AIDS activists