Condoms rebranded in South Africa as HIV infections rise

South Africa is seeking to rebrand its free condoms to appeal to young people after a new study showed rising HIV infections and flagging contraception use, the health department said on Thursday.

Condoms distributed by the government will come in a wider range of colours and flavours, as authorities seek to mend the damage done to their image when thousands of faulty were recalled in January 2012.

"We want to refresh the way we provide condoms to make sure that the packaging is able to attract the attention of ," said health department spokesman Joe Maila.

The rebranding effort comes as new figures released on Tuesday showed there were 470,000 new HIV infections in 2012, compared with 370,000 the year before.

A drop in the use of condoms is seen as one reason for the increased infection rate.

A government-funded survey of 38,000 people showed that "condom use has started slowing down,"

In 2012, 36 percent of South Africans reported having used condoms during sexual intercourse, compared to 45 percent in 2008.

South Africa has the world's highest number of people living with HIV, a crisis that has seen millions of people placed on a vast state-sponsored treatment programme.

Around 6.4 million people—12.2 percent of the population—were living with HIV or AIDS in 2012.

That is up from 10.6 percent in 2008, when the previous survey was conducted, which partly reflects better treatment.

The survey noted fewer AIDS-related deaths and less frequent transmission of the virus by pregnant mothers to their unborn children, in great part thanks to successful antiretroviral treatment.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN finds mother-to-child HIV infections decreasing

Nov 29, 2013

The U.N. Children's Fund says it is alarmed about increasing HIV and AIDS rates among adolescents over the last seven years and is advocating an aggressive program that includes condom distribution and antiretroviral treatment.

South Africa recalls 1.35 million condoms

Jan 31, 2012

(AP) -- Some condoms burst. Others leaked like sieves. South Africa's leading anti-AIDS group said Tuesday that allegedly faulty condoms are among more than 1.35 million handed out at the African National ...

Australian safe sex to save African lives

Jan 17, 2013

A new condom company, founded by a recent University of Sydney Business School graduate, is offering Australians the opportunity to help "save a life" in Africa each time they have safe sex.

Recommended for you

The genetics of coping with HIV

Sep 16, 2014

We respond to infections in two fundamental ways. One, which has been the subject of intensive research over the years, is "resistance," where the body attacks the invading pathogen and reduces its numbers. Another, which ...

Long acting HIV drugs to be developed

Sep 11, 2014

HIV drugs which only need to be taken once a month are to be developed at the University of Liverpool in a bid to overcome the problem of 'pill fatigue'.

Puerto Rico partners on US HIV vaccine project

Sep 10, 2014

Puerto Rico's governor says the island's largest public university is partnering with federal agencies to oversee a U.S.-funded project aimed at trying to develop a prophylactic vaccine for the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

User comments