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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 24 December, 2002, 08:43 GMT
Scouts to get free condoms at jamboree
Condoms
Scouts can ask for condoms
Scouts travelling to the international jamboree in Thailand are to be given free condoms.

Thai health ministers said there had been reports of scouts having sex at other gatherings and they were determined youngsters heading to the four yearly jamboree would live up to their motto and "Be prepared".

Dr Pipat Yingseri, of the Public Health Ministry, said the condoms would be given out on request at the 20th World Scout Jamboree, southeast of Bangkok.

He said: "We want to promote safe sex.

Prepared

"We will offer condoms to scouts who need them, but I think most of them will already be well-prepared."

About 20,000 boy and girl scouts, mainly aged between 14-18, are expected at the 11-day jamboree.

The scouts will be sited at a large seaside campsite in Sattahip, about 81 miles from Bangkok.

We will offer condoms to scouts who need them, but I think most of them will already be well-prepared

Dr Pipat Yingseri, of the Public Health Ministry

Sattahip is just a short drive from the seaside town of Pattaya, which is notorious for its thousands of go-go bars, massage parlours and brothels.

The ministry's inspector general said the government were aiming to protect the scouts and not to encourage promiscuity.

"We are preparing the condoms to prevent Aids, not to encourage sexual activity.

"In case they need them they can ask for them from us.

"Nobody can control sex 100% when thousands of people live together, so my aim is to prevent Aids in case of sex."

The 1998 jamboree was held in Chile where there were concerns over travel, due to unrest and rioting over the House of Lords decision that General Pinochet was not immune to prosecution as a former head of state.

See also:

10 Jul 02 | Health
03 Jul 02 | Health
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