You Won't Believe How Much Condoms Cost In Venezuela

Practicing safe sex is really expensive there.

A collapse in oil prices in Venezuela has caused a shortage in basic goods, and many are suffering because of it. Aside from having a short supply of food and medicine, the country is also running out of condoms, making it impossible for Venezuelans to practice safe sex—or even have sex at all.

“The country is so messed up that now we have to wait in line even to have sex. This is a new low,” says Jonatan Montilla, a 31-year-old advertising company art director.

Venezuela has one of the highest rates of HIV and teenage pregnancy in South America. Abortion is also illegal, so without condoms or any kind of contraception, there is a higher risk of unwanted pregnancies, especially among the youth.

Desperate times calls for desperate measures, and some people have turned to online auction sites to purchase condoms. On the website MercadoLibre, a 36-pack of Trojan condoms sells for 4,760 bolivars (Venezuela’s minimum wage is 5,600 bolivars), which is roughly $755 or P33,000. That’s P920 per condom!

“Without condoms we can’t do anything,” Jhonatan Rodriguez, general director at the not-for-profit health group StopVIH, explains to Bloomberg. “This shortage threatens all the prevention programs we have been working on across the country.”


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