Mongolia: Mass-media campaign encourages safe sex

  • International staff: 3
  • National staff: 10 With only two reported HIV cases so far, Mongolia is one of the few countries not heavily affected by HIV/AIDS. However, a 1999 survey of 15-25 year-olds has showed that, despite a very high awareness of the disease (98%), there is little use of contraceptives. The Mongolian health authorities and UNAIDS/Mongolia asked MSF to set up an AIDS program in the country. Because the above survey had also revealed that Mongolians find it extremely difficult to discuss sexual health issues and are embarrassed to buy condoms, in December 1999 MSF and the Ministry of Health launched Mongolia's first-ever mass media campaign to promote safe sex and condom use. The campaign ran for six months. A post-campaign evaluation showed that 75% of the respondents had seen the campaign and 97% thought the information was important for people of their age. A new campaign is scheduled for late 2000. An information center with up-to-date information for health professionals and relevant organizations will be handed over the National AIDS Foundation this year. Twelve Mongolian trainers have been trained in counseling people before and after an HIV test. Mongolian trainers successfully trained 88 health workers from all parts of the country. MSF has been working in Mongolia since March 1999.