Africa Asia Middle East Français Português Subscribe IRIN Site Map
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Wednesday 03 October 2007
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Really Simple Syndication Feeds 
About PlusNews 
Contact PlusNews 
Print report
SOUTH AFRICA: "I'm in danger" - public responds to condom scandal

Photo: Laura Lopez Gonzalez/PlusNews
Mapitso Hlaodi, 27, a hair stylist says she now doubts the safety of government condoms
JOHANNESBURG, 29 August 2007 (PlusNews) - The recall of 20 million condoms by the South African Health Department due to safety concerns has dealt a blow to the country's prevention programme.

An estimated seven million condoms have been compromised by a corruption scandal in which faulty condoms were allegedly certified as safe; the government chose to recall all 20 million prophylactics produced by the company under investigation.

Health department spokesperson Sibani Mngadi maintained that 90 percent of the 400 million condoms the government distributes for free each year were of good quality. 

But activists worry that the news of the recall has dented public confidence in the health department's long-fought condomisation campaign, in a country in which over 16 percent of adults are estimated to be HIV-positive.

Those concerns were shared by people IRIN/PlusNews spoke to in one of Johannesburg's busy shopping malls.

"I don’t like the government condoms. I don't think they're safe. I'd rather buy condoms from the garage than get them from the clinic, I just don't think they're safe." Cindy Ndlebe, 21, personal trainer

"I used to use them all the time due to the fact I thought they were stronger because they were free. I mean, I'd been using them for three years and only two broke. No more. I was using them because they were easy to access, they're always there." Mapitso Hlaodi, 27, hairstylist

"I saw it in the paper Monday or Tuesday and said, 'Oh my God, let me check my condom.' And my condom was Choice [the affected brand] and it means I'm in danger, but I just continue because I have no choice. I've been using them for years." Monty Mawele, 47, security guard

"I don’t think the government has a response. I don't think the government actually knows what it wants to do or what it's story is with the whole HIV/AIDS issue." Natashe Thorp, 22, student

"I think the government is right, it's good for the people. One thing for sure, the government cares for the people." Gift Ndlovu, 25, waiter


See also: Condom recall hurts prevention drive

Theme(s): (IRIN) Prevention - PlusNews, (IRIN) Urban Risk


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report
FREE Subscriptions
Your e-mail address:

Submit your request
 More on South Africa
SOUTH AFRICA: Hospital project attempts to revive Johannesburg inner city
SOUTH AFRICA: The trials and tribulations of community involvement in research
GLOBAL: Vaccine failure a setback for anti-AIDS efforts
SOUTHERN AFRICA: A winning recipe for PMTCT but few follow it
SOUTHERN AFRICA: The effect of migration on HIV rates
 More on Prevention - PlusNews
INDONESIA: Injecting more than drugs
GLOBAL: UNAIDS counts the cost of universal access
GLOBAL: Vaccine failure a setback for anti-AIDS efforts
INDONESIA: Cheap sex, high risk - the challenge of AIDS prevention
ZAMBIA: Government discards the elderly
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2007
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.