Due to the increase in HIV transmission in South Africa, the government has decided to distribute colored and flavored condoms to stop the decline in condom use. The new initiative is meant to create more interest in using condoms regularly.
According to a survey by South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council, “The estimated overall prevalence of HIV increased from 10.6% in 2008 to 12.2% in 2012. The increased prevalence of HIV in 2012 is largely due to the combined effects of new infections and a successfully expanded antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme.”
The 2008 survey showed that 85% of males used condoms and 66% of females, but this had dropped to 67% and 50% in 2012.
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“The increases in some risky sexual behaviours are disappointing, as this partly accounts for why there are so many new infections still occurring,” said Leickness Simbayi, an investigator on the study.
With South Africa having an estimated population of 6.4 million HIV-positive people, the initiative is extremely important. More people are living with HIV due to the availability of antiretroviral drugs, however there is still much work to be done.
What are your thoughts on the new strategy to lower HIV transmission?