As sexually transmitted infections are skyrocketing globally, many governments require NGOs and charity organizations to pay import taxes on donated, not-for-sale medical commodities, including condoms. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges all nations to waive taxes on donated medical goods – especially condoms as they are the most cost-effective method of preventing STIs, including HIV, and unplanned pregnancy.
“With more than one million STI transmissions daily worldwide, condom access is indispensable to public health, especially in resource-constrained settings. AHF distributes high-quality condoms for free, but we still must pay import duties on them as commercial entities do. Humanitarian assistance should not be taxed like for-profit goods,” said Denys Nazarov, AHF Director of Global Policy and Communications. “Countries worldwide, like Kenya, are facing dire condom shortages that hit vulnerable communities, including sex workers, the hardest. We urge government leaders to make it easier for civil society to help people stay healthy by removing tariffs on vital medical goods imported for non-commercial distribution by NGOs.”