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Intervention by Martine Ago, Ivory Coast:
The United Nations General Assembly
High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS


United Nations Headquarters
New York, USA, June 1, 2006

Your Excellency, the president of the United Nations General Assembly; Your Excellence, the Secretary General of the United Nations; and honored invitees, ladies and gentlemen:

I am Martine Ago, representative of sex professionals, from the Ivory Coast, a country that knows firsthand a military-political crisis with its crushing poverty, violence and degradation of the health system.

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Theme: Health

Women in many cultures have used lemon or lime juice for contraception and vaginal hygiene for centuries; however, despite rumours that say otherwise, these juices are not only ineffective as a microbicide to prevent transmission of HIV, but can actually cause HIV transmission more easily because of the damage that they do to vaginal tissues.

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Theme: Health

The objective of this article is to describe the use of lemon/lime juice for douching by female sex workers and family planning clients in Jos, Nigeria. Over half the women believed that it protected them from pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections; they did not know their HIV status. Eighty-six percent would recommend it to others, and 71% would be willing to take part in a study to evaluate its safety and efficacy. Conclusion: Lemon and lime juice are widely used for douches among women at high risk of HIV transmission.

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Theme: Health