Steve Menzies and I are just back from a great trip to Vietnam where The Centre has been working with DFID and local partners on a project to increase the availability and use of condoms in men aged between 18-40 who have had sex with a female sex worker in the last three months. We were working with a number of private sector firms in Vietnam who will be responsible for trying to get the new condom - VIP+ in as many Non Traditional Outlets (NTO's) as possible. These NTO's - hotels, bars, massage parlours, local shops and supermarkets have been often ignored by public health development programmes in the past but they are really important as research shows this is where men in this target group will be likely to want to pick up a condom. The workshops in both Ho Chi Min City and Hanoi were really productive with all the participants getting involved in The Centres highly interactive training programmes. This meant sending participants on the course into the red light districts to speak to "real" people involved in the sex trade. Although some people felt a little uncomfortable at the start, everyone agreed the insight gained by actually being out there was really valuable. "This really was putting ourselves in the shoes of our target market and finding what makes them tick said one of the group"
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