- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Condoms are the latest item to become scarce - and costly - in Venezuela.

Once easy to find, condoms disappeared from pharmacy shelves as the year started, along with many food and cleaning products.

Public health workers worry the shortage could worsen Venezuela’s already high rates of HIV and teen pregnancy.

Venezuela has the second-highest teen pregnancy rate in South America, after Guyana, according to World Bank statistics.

Merchants have begun selling condoms on the black market, using a website that is the Venezuelan equivalent of Craigslist. On Monday, a 24-pack of Durex condoms was going for $317 at Venezuela’s official exchange rate, or $10 at the more widely used black market rate.

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