The government of South Africa is set to provide its youths with a new, trendy range of condom designs. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi officially launched the new condoms at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
The new “Max” condoms have been introduced as a replacement following complaints from young people that the previous government-issued “choice” condom brand were unattractive and unappealing.
Consequently, the new condoms come in various flavors, including strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and banana.
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Motsoaledi says a lot of careful research went in to the development of the new condoms, “The new Max condoms are reliable. They give maximum protection, maximum pleasure, and maximum safety.”
In a related development, a multi-million-dollar Rand latex condom manufacturing plant has been opened in Durban. The plant is the second in South Africa and the first in the Kwazulu-Natal province of the country. When it is operational, it is expected to supply some of the governments newly issued Max brand of condoms.
The plant is the product of a partnership between the South African-based medical consumable outfit SA Health Protecting Service and U.S. company HBM, which is now HBM-SA Health Protecting Services.
The plant is expected to churn out an estimated 700,000 condoms per day while providing direct employment to 145 locals.
An executive committee member in Kwazulu-Natal, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo described the facility as a representation of the government’s efforts to halt the spread of sexually transmitted infections in the country.
“We are very pleased that the plan to build a condom manufacturing plant in KZN — a place that needs it most because of the pandemic of HIV—has come to fruition,” Dhlomo said.
He, however, urged manufacturers to consider lowering the price of the female condom, which, at the moment, sells for more than 10 times the price of male condoms.
Medical experts consider the use of condoms as an all-important weapon in the fight against sexually transmitted infections. They are readily available, cheap, and easy to use.
Sexually active youth are especially at risk of contracting HIV from unprotected sex due to increased risky sexual behavior that includes the use of narcotics and alcohol.
An estimated 37 million people are currently infected with HIV worldwide and nearly 2 million new infections are recorded each year.
South Africa has one of the highest HIV rates in the world.