Cultural Traditions Hindering Use Of Female Condoms

Armen Hareyan's picture

Female Condom Use

Cultural traditions are among the main reasons for the low rate of female condom use, delegates attending the 2007 HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, said recently, the New Times/ reports (Musoni, New Times/, 6/18).


More than 2,000 delegates attended the four-day conference, which was hosted by the Rwandan government and organized by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Other organizers include UNAIDS, the World Bank, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/19).

Conference participants discussed the future direction of HIV/AIDS programs and emphasized identifying and implementing partnerships among governments, businesses, the health care sector and others to fight the spread of HIV, VOA News reports (Majtenyi, VOA News, 6/18).

Sarah Kambou, vice president of health and development at the International Center for Research on Women, on Sunday at the conference said that culture is one of the factors that has contributed to the low rate of female condom use. Kambou said that "women don't know how they introduce" female condoms to their husbands, adding that a lot of advocacy is needed to "overcome this challenge." David Wilson, a member of the World Bank's Global AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Team, said that the reason why female condoms are not popular is because women often lack empowerment in society.

David Apuuli, director-general of the Uganda AIDS Commission, said that it is difficult in African societies for women to promote condom use to their husbands. He added that another potential reason is that in "some cases, women who use [condoms] have complained that they are not user friendly" and that "they make a lot of noise during sexual intercourse." Apuuli also said that some condoms have been rejected because of their bad smell (New Times/, 6/18).

Reprinted with permission from You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.