Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Cartoon figure used to promote condom use among youths

IRRESISTIBLE? Planned Parenthood's redesigned condom packaging will feature Onionhead from a series of emoticons for chat applications like MSN

By Angelica Oung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Planned Parenthood Associ-ation of Taiwan (PPAT) has redesigned the packaging of its condoms to increase the popularity of its condom distribution program with the younger generation.

The PPAT sells condoms at a fraction of the usual retail price at public health centers all over the country and in some Department of Health hospitals. They can be purchased for just NT$25 a dozen.

The new packaging will feature the cartoon character Onionhead, the star of a series of emoticons for chat applications such as MSN messenger, used widely by young people. Condoms with the Onionhead packaging will be available by Aug. 19, which is Lover's Day.

"We chose Onionhead because we wanted to encourage more young people to take advantage of our condom program," said Ho Shu-hua (何淑華), head of the contraceptive section of the PPAT. "Most of our clients are middle-aged couples watching their wallets."

Condoms without the Onionhead packaging are also available, Ho said.

Secretary-general of the PPAT Liu Dun-kwei (劉丹桂) said that more than 1.5 million 12-condom packages were sold by the association last year at more than 400 distribution points.

"They're a bargain," said Liu, who says that condoms of comparable quality frequently sell for more than NT$120 per dozen.

The condom distribution program first started in the 1970s as part of the government's family planning initiative, Liu said. However, with time, the emphasis of the program has shifted to stemming the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV, Liu said.

More information about the program, including a list of distribution points, can be found at http://ww.ppat.org/ohead.

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