21 July 2016

South Africa: New Look SA Condoms Prove Popular

Photo: Rogan Ward/International AIDS Society
21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), Durban, South Africa. Special Session.

Durban — Government has launched a set of new look condoms, which it hopes will attract young people, following complaints that the previous 'Choice' condoms lacked appeal and were not attractive to young people.

And already, the new Max condoms are proving popular among the target audience.

Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who launched the condoms at the International Aids Conference in Durban, said a lot of research went to producing them.

Condoms are still viewed as the most effective way of preventing sexually transmitted diseases and government distributes millions of them each year. Young people are at high risk of contracting HIV from unprotected sex due to increased risky sexual behaviour, especially with the use of narcotics and alcohol among this group.

"The new Max condoms are reliable. They give maximum protection, maximum pleasure and maximum safety," Minister Motsoaledi said to loud chuckles.

The new condoms are distributed in strawberry, banana, chocolate and vanilla flavour, instead of the standard Choice condoms. This development is to promote the use of condoms by making them more attractive.

The plan might be working, as the condoms are proving to be popular among visitors at the South African exhibition situated at the Durban International Convention Centre.

Some of those who spoke to SAnews think that the new condoms could actually motivate young sexually active people to have protected sex.

Many say they buy other condom brands because they "look cool".

"These government issued condoms have all that cool appeal and I'm sure they are safe - so I am definitely hooked," said student Mduduzi Mngadi.

Siboniso Zulu also gave his take on the old government condoms. "Choice [doesn't smell good] and it's a turn off to many women. Ask women around what they think of Choice condoms, they will laugh."

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