About Us
Latest SA News
News Archives
Search Archives
Factsheets
Key Documents
Contacts Database
Events Calendar
Links
Contact Us
 

 

 

.
Male Condom


 

 

The basics

In South Africa

Research issues

Story Ideas

Contacts

Research studies


The basics

» Condoms are the most effective way of preventing HIV infection, and other sexually transmitted diseases, by creating a barrier that prevents the transfer of fluids.

» Condoms are more effective when they are stored correctly, away from heat and direct sunlight; packaging is not damaged and when a condom is used correctly. A new condom has to be used every time a person has sex. Irregular usage compromises HIv prevention, for both men and women, considerably. Although rare, condoms can slip off during intercourse, and poor quality and incorrect use can contribute to breakages. Risks of pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and STI infection, even in the case of these events, are far lower than if a condom is not used.

»  Standard setting organisations worldwide (eg. ISO, WHO) have developed a range of tests for determining the quality of the latex condom. These include dimension tests, leakage tests, tensile strength ability to withstand force, airburst tests and deterioration tests.

»  Social marketing applies the principles of conventional product branding and multimedia marketing techniques combined with subsidy of health products. Internationally, organisations such as Population Services International, The Futures Group International and Marie Stopes International are experienced in social marketing and their websites contain useful information on this topic and its application to condom usage.

back to top

In South Africa

» In 2002, the South African National Department of Health procured 358 million male latex condoms for free distribution through the public health system. This is the largest condom procurement programme and the only fully funded government programme in Africa.

» Condom quality standards in South Africa are set by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). Products that conform to this standard carry the SABS mark of approval.

» Society for Family Health (SFH) conducts condom social marketing activities in South Africa. These activities include promoting Lovers Plus and Trust Condoms through mass media advertising, mobile promotions, promotions in schools, taxi ranks, shebeens and sports stadiums, bashes and music festivals. SFH sold 8 million condoms in South Africa in 2001.

» Condoms are imported by Crowntex from Belgiuim for commercial distribution

» Commercial brand condoms are distributed by amongst others Durex.

back to top

Research issues

  • Condoms are one of a number of options that sexually active people can use to prevent HIV infection – so the aim of prevention programmes is not to achieve 100% condom use, unless dealing with a very high risk sub-group such as sex workers. Other options for prevention include abstinence, non-penetrative sex, and faithful relationships where partner status is known.
  • Correct and consistent condom use is important. Inconsistent and incorrect use of condoms increases risk of HIV infection.
  • Effective distribution of quality condoms greatly improves the efficiency of condom promotion programmes. Studies show that youth in South Africa are easily able to access condoms – 84% (Rutenberg et al, 2001); 84% (Kelly, 2000). Concerns include judgemental attitudes of condom distributors, particularly at clinics, and inconsistent availability (Kelly & Parker, 2001).
  • Reported condom use in South Africa is very high. A study of commuters found 45% had used a condom the last time they had sex, and the level was 66% in the 15-24 year age group (Parker et al, 2002); 71% of male youth and 50% of female youth in KwaZulu-Natal reported last time sex condom use (Rutenberg et al 2001); In a national study 55% of 12-17 year old’s reported last time sex condom use (loveLife, 2001).
  • It’s important to note that not all youth in South Africa are sexually active or at immediate risk of HIV infection. There are trends towards “secondary abstinence”, where young people choose not to have sex for long periods, even though they may previously have had sex (Kelly and Parker, 2001). Only 5% of 12-13 year old’s have had sex; and just over half (54%) of 16-17 year old’s have had sex (loveLife, 2001)
  • Condom use is not readily reflected in the national HIV-prevalence study conducted annually by the Department of Health. This study samples pregnant women only, and consistent condom users are unlikely to be represented. There are however interesting trends in HIV prevalence. For example, according to the DOH estimated national HIV prevalence among antenatal clinic attendees rose from 22.4% in 1999 to just 24.8% in 2001. 1999-2002 among antenatal clinic attendees the national level has increased only marginally over the past three years (22.4%-24.8%)(1999-2001). HIV prevalence amongst the under 20 age group has gone down marginally (16.5% to 15.$%). Syphillis, which is readily prevented by condom use has gone down from 7.3% to 2.8%.

back to top

Story Ideas

  • South Africa has procured hundreds of millions of condoms for free distribution. How does this compare to similar programmes in other countries? Contacts: DOH; SFH; UNFPA
  • How efficient is condom distribution in South Africa? Are there differences in access between urban and rural areas? Are young people able to get condoms easily and non-judgementally from clinics? Are condoms available at loveLife Y-centres and NAFCI clinics? Contact: DOH; PPASA; loveLife; AIDS NGOs; Distribution point visits
  • How safe are condoms distributed in South Africa? Does the Department of Health have standards and guidelines for distribution? How are they tested? Contact: DOH; SABS; SFH; Durex;
  • Are condoms available in nightclubs and bars where young people hang out and what efforts are being made by the entertainment industry to increase the availability of condoms?
  • Throughout the world male prisoners are vulnerable to HIV infection through consensual sex and rape. What efforts are being made to reduce this risk? How easily can prisoners get condoms? How many condoms are distributed in prisons in South Africa? Contact: SA Prison Services
  • What’s the latest research on condom use in South Africa? How is condom use measured? What are communication programmes doing to promote condoms? Contact: Cadre; SFH; DOH
  • Where do the condoms distributed by street vendors at robots in Johannesburg come from? Are they government issue condoms? Are they safe to use? Should they be sold? Contact: Gauteng HIV/AIDS and STI Directorate
  • How many condoms are sold in South Africa by commercial companies? Do all commercially marketed condoms in South Africa meet international and SABS standards? Contact: Durex;
  • What motivates condom users to use condoms? How easy is it for partners to negotiate condom use? How easy is it for women to negotiate condom use?

back to top

Contacts

The Department of Health
Contact: Ms Eva Gosa
Tel: 012 312 0130
Fax: 012 312 0129
Email: gosae@health.gov.za
Website: www.health.gov.za

Society for Family Health (SFH)
Contact:Tshepo Matladi:
Tel: (011) 482 1427
Fax: (011) 482 3333
Email: tsepo@sfh.co.za
Website: www.youthaids.co.za (to be launched 23 October 2002)

Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa (PPASA)
Contact: Julita Duncan or Ilona Forster
Tel: 011 482 4601
Fax: 011 482 4602
website: www.ppasa.org.za

LoveLife
Angela Stewart-Buchanan
Information Officer
Tel: 011 771 6800
Fax: 011 771 6801
Email: angela@lovelife.org.za
Website: www.lovelife.org.za/llwebsite

Condombuy
Roy Munes
P.O. Box
6104
Rivonia
2128
E-Mail:
info@condombuy.co.za
Website: www.condombuy.co.za
Contact:082 903 8794

UNFPA
Dr G Nsiah
UNFPA Representative, South Africa
Tel: 012 338 5289
Fax: 012 320 4355
Email: gnsiah@un.org.za
Website: www.unfpa.org

back to top

Research studies

On the move: The response of public transport commuters to HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Parker W, Oyosi S, Kelly K and Fox S (2002)

Durex Global survey into sexual attitudes and behaviour
Durex Global Survey (2001)

Communities of Practice ­ Contextual Mediators of Youth Response to HIV/AIDS
Kelly K & Parker W (2001)

Communicating for Action
Kelly, K (2000)

The Male Condom: UNAIDS Technical Update
UNAIDS, Geneva UNAIDS (2000)

back to top

 

 
 
 

About us | Latest SA News | Search Archives | Factsheets | Key Documents
| Contacts Database | Events Calendar | Links | Contact Us | CADRE |