Australian safe sex to save African lives

January 17, 2013, University of Sydney
Australian safe sex to save African lives
Dustin Leonard: "I strongly believe that it is possible to succeed in business and help people."

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.

The company, called HERO, says it will donate one "socially responsible and environmentally sustainable" condom to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and other parts of the for every condom it sells locally.

"HERO are based on a very simple idea," said company founder, Dustin Leonard. "Having safe sex in Australia could save a life in Africa where the HIV/AIDS epidemic has already claimed millions."

Mr Leonard, who last year completed a Master's in International Business and a Master's in Logistics Management at the , plans to begin distributing free packs of condoms in the African nation of Botswana later this month.

The condom launch has been timed to coincide with the release in Botswana of an HIV/AIDS related documentary produced by Thinkbox Media at the Business School and the Norwegian School of Economics.

Australian safe sex to save African lives
Participants in The Mr Positive Living contest, an event intended to facilitate the emergence of role models for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

The documentary titled Walk the Talk, focuses on the role that people already infected with HIV/AIDS can play in educating the wider community.

Botswana has been devastated by HIV/AIDS. In 2009 a quarter of the population between the ages of 15-49 was living with the virus - the second highest infection rate in the world after nearby Swaziland.

"Condoms are a key weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Botswana and other parts of Africa but there is a associated with their use and myths associated with the virus itself," said Mr Leonard. "We want to make condoms acceptable and readily accessible."

Mr Leonard believes that the variety of condoms typically available in Africa contributes to their unpopularity. "To encourage their use, every aspect of our condoms will be customized to reflect local preferences including packaging, foil wraps, size and thickness," he said.

The company is planning to sell around 3.5 million condoms in Australia in its first year and to match those sales with the distribution of another 3.5 million in Africa free of charge. HERO condoms will be manufactured in Malaysia in an environmentally friendly way from sustainable and natural materials.

"This is the first condom company of its type to hit the Australian market," Mr Leonard said. "We are hoping that it will appeal to young people who are looking for something innovative and new and are also socially concerned."

In addition to condoms, HERO is also planning to make antiretroviral therapies available to pregnant women to help prevent the transfer of HIV to their unborn babies.

"I strongly believe that it is possible to succeed in business and help people," Mr Leonard concluded. "We believe that with this product we can give a chance to make a difference and help save a life every time they have ."

Explore further: South Africa recalls 1.35 million condoms

Related Stories

South Africa recalls 1.35 million condoms

January 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 Congress' 100th ...

Religions play positive role in African AIDS crisis

September 11, 2012
While the Western press often targets religious groups for their roles in handling the African AIDS crisis, these groups tend to play positive—and critical—roles in fighting the epidemic, according to sociologists.

DC Female Condom program highly effective in preventing HIV infections

March 26, 2012
A new economic analysis, conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and featured in the current issue of Springer's journal AIDS and Behavior, showed that the DC Female Condom program, a public-private partnership ...

Recommended for you

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.