BUSINESS

$317 For A Pack Of Condoms In Caracas, After Oil's Collapse

02/09/2015 05:17 EST | Updated 02/09/2015 05:59 EST
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
CARACAS, VENEZUELA, FEBRUARY 5 : People queue outside a supermarket in Caracas taken over by National Guard in Caracas, Venezuela on February 5, 2015. President Nicolas Maduro, whose country faces severe economic crisis and shortages, ordered a Venezuelan chain be taken over Tuesday and its proprietors detained for inciting 'a food war against the people'. (Photo by Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

CARACAS, Venezuela — 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.

Venezuela, a major oil exporter, has seen its economy struggle since the oil price collapse.

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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