NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) -- An Indian firm has launched a paan-flavored condom designed to evoke the pungent taste of the betel nut and tobacco concoction chewed and then spat out by millions of South Asians, newspapers have reported.
Hindustan Latex is targeting the new condom range at prostitutes, who are among the most vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, the Hindustan Times reported Tuesday.
The company ran taste tests with sex workers, including prototypes with chocolate, banana and strawberry flavors, but the paan flavor came out tops.
"The community loved it as most of the sex workers chew paan," Sanjeev Gaikwad was quoted as saying at the launch in Mumbai. Gaikwad is a director at Family Health International, a public health organisations that helped develop the condom.
Paan is a mildly intoxicating preparation wrapped in a leaf, usually containing tobacco, betel nut and flavorings, and is hugely popular across South Asia. It is chewed to a mouth-staining red pulp before being spat out.
The condoms will at first be made available only to prostitutes, but will we launched to the general public in a few months, the newspaper said.
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