Choice or no choice? The need for better branded public sector condoms in South Africa

John Ashmore, Ruth Henwood
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 16, No 1 | a353 | DOI: | © 2015 John Ashmore, Ruth Henwood | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 January 2015 | Published: 02 July 2015

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John Ashmore, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Cape Town, South Africa
Ruth Henwood, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Khayelitsha, South Africa

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Condoms are one of the cornerstones to any response to the HIV epidemic. However, targetedmarketing strategies that make condoms more attractive to people at high risk of infection areoften overlooked. The South African National Department of Health has recently purchasedmore attractive condoms to distribute in higher-education settings free of charge, targeting atriskyouth including young women. The authors applaud this move but note the importance ofexpanding better branded condoms to young people elsewhere – for example, via youth clinicsand in high schools. Exploratory, routine data from Médecins Sans Frontières in Khayelitshaare presented, showing the popularity of alternatives to the government’s ‘Choice’ brand.


HIV Prevention; Condom policy; Social marketing


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