Indonesia’s Child Protection Commission (KPAI) urged the government to limit condom sales to approved stores, a move that would effectively pull the contraception out of convenience stores.
“Condoms are a halal product, but sales should be limited to prevent misuse by people who are not supposed to use it,” KPAI Deputy Chairman Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh told Antara.
The criticisms of Asrorun, a former secretary with the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), were backed by an employee of Bogor’s Religious Affairs Ministry who argued that the prevalence of easy-to-get condoms had led to a surge in sexual activity in Bogor.
“Unlimited condom sales make it easy for people to buy them,” Ita Rosita said. “The fact
is, in the underpass that connects the Bogor Agriculture Institute and the Bogor
Botanical garden, there were many used condoms because the underpass had not
been used in a long time.”
A mini market worker in Bogor said that condoms were flying off the shelves, bragging that “even junior high school students buy condoms here.”
Asrorun said that he is sure the students bought the condoms for personal use, explaining that no parent would send their kid to the store to pick up condoms.
Condom use in Indonesia is already low by global standards. The nonprofit organization DKT Indonesia previously said that Indonesia’s commercial condom market was about 120 million sales a year, half to one-third of what is should be for a nation of 240 million people.
Indonesia has one of the fastest-growing HIV epidemics in Asia, according to United Nations figures. According to the AIDS Prevention Commision (KPA) 76 percent of the nation’s HIV/AIDS infections are transmitted through unsafe sex. The United States Center for Disease Control lists condoms as an effective barrier against the HIV virus.
Teen pregnancy is also an issue in Indonesia, where, according to a dubious survey conducted by the KPAI, 21.2 percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 18 have had at least one abortion. The same survey, which has been criticized for its unreliable data, claims that 62.7 percent of teenagers ages 14 to 18 had engaged in sexual intercourse.