Americans might see lowered gas prices as a cause for celebration, but our victory comes at a cost: Venezuela’s economy is seriously suffering, and its citizens are struggling to afford (and even track down) essential items like chicken, toilet paper, and condoms.

In the past seven months, the rate the country receives for its exports has dropped by 60%, and its economy is expected to see a 7% shrink in 2015 alone. A fall in oil prices means Venezuela’s government is desperate to fund the import of consumer products, and as a result, its public is lacking contraceptives.  


Now, a pack of three condoms costs approximately $62 USD a pop. A box of 34 costs nearly $755 USD (the cost of a new computer or iPhone in the states).   


This is a critical issue in Venezuela, where abortion is illegal and the HIV rate of infection is the highest in all of South America. We all know that inaccessibility to contraceptives only stops safe sex, not sex in general, so the through-the-roof prices of condoms poses a serious threat: the spread of HIV won’t be prevented, and every pregnancy will mean a child.

Image via HerCampus

Marissa is an NYC-based writer who loves feminism, doughnuts, and being outside. She's not a huge fan of writing personal bios, but she does love writing pretty much anything else. Read more of her work at