Want a Condom? Think again in the land of ABC

Uganda has long been hailed for its success in fighting HIV/AIDS, bringing prevalence rates from a high of 20-30% (depending on estimates) to 6%, where it has remained for the past several years. The success was attributed, among other things, to the ABC campaign — abstinence, “be faithful” and condom use. Well, I’m not sure about either the abstinence or the being faithful bit (though a new effort is being pushed forward with the be red campaign), but condom use remains tricky around here.

New Vision ran a fascinating piece in their Sunday edition, sending out reporters around the city/country asking to buy a condom from various shops. Results were mixed, but in general most were ridiculed, laughed at, or looked down upon for their purchase, where they were able to make it. It seemed to me the women fared worse…The men’s accounts are here and here, the women’s here, here and here.

This combined with the not uncommon idea that using a condom during sex is like eating candy with the wrapper on…

In any case, for those who thought promoting condom use abroad would be as (relatively) easy as it has been in the U.S. (where you often have 12 year olds putting condoms on bananas during sex ed class) should seriously think again, even in countries that have been supposedly successful in the fight against HIV/AIDS….

4 Replies to “Want a Condom? Think again in the land of ABC”

  1. Hope I don’t sound too cynical, but in Uganda, the 12 year old is likely to eat the Banana…. not dress it up! I think the message has gone stale and boring. The promotion of safe sex needs to take a new turn to fit the changing demographics, to be ‘cooler’ so to speak…..

  2. Suzanne,Thank you so much for taking it upon ylreusof to answer our many questions. Thank you for being a voice. I believe I can speak on behalf of my colleagues; we mean in no way to be inflammatory to the people of Intel, and we are sorry if anyone is offended.But to my point, I have been excited ever since I heard that Intel was on board in the effort to stop the conflict minerals flow. My only issue is that I have seen no support for HR 4128 as it stands. I only see backing for a watered down version of the bill. One with loopholes and clauses that do not hold you accountable. This will take out the spine of the bill. We are looking for someone to stand up and be responsible for their supply chain, instead of redirecting the responsibility to the the next level. Secondly, I honestly appreciate your efforts to eliminate the issue by working with the government and NGOs. Yet, behind closed doors, you seek to weaken the bill, so you may not be held responsible for your supply chain. Your supply chain, your problem . We are willing to pay the extra penny. Hell, I’m willing to pay an extra 10 dollars if it means it’ll cut off resources for the Congolese warlords. The objective is to have you, and other companies know where your minerals are coming from, and hold everybody accountable. Not to simply work with people to point fingers. What I’m saying is, support the bill as is, people’s lives are at stake here.


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