Tagscircumcision, condoms, female condom, female initiated hiv prevention, hiv prevention, microbicide gels, midwives aids alliance, mmc services, negotiating condom use, sa women's hiv prvention summit, the star, the times, transactional sex, women
Female condoms: More power to you
1 September 2011
The Bigfoot of HIV prevention is back. The female condom (FC) is in the spotlight again, but its lack of popularity raises awkward questions around what the government is doing to protect women from HIV while MMC campaigns receive the lions-share of the prevention attention.
In comparison to the government’s mass roll-out of accessible and affordable medical male circumcision (MMC) services for men, the promotion and provision of female initiated protection methods (the best and most viable of which is currently the female condom) has lagged far behind.
Edith Moosa of the Midwives AIDS Alliance called for the increased promotion and distribution of female condoms in South Africa because they offered women a chance to play a greater part in negotiating condom use.
Moosa was speaking at the second annual South Africa Women’s HIV Prevention Summit in Johannesburg yesterday.
Meanwhile The Times has reported that disadvantaged teenage girls from Gauteng’s Zeerbekom community have been given ‘care packages’ containing basic but essential toiletries such as sanitary towels.
This initiative represented an early opportunity to translate conference talk into concrete action by promoting the female condom by including them in the care packages.
However there is no word on whether or not female condoms made an appearance.
A Health Department spokesperson said that the care packages were intended to boost the teens’ self-worth and thereby decrease the chances of young women establishing sexual relationships with older men in exchange for gifts.
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