Access To Female Condoms Limited, Expensive In Many Countries

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Access To Female Condoms


Many women worldwide cannot access female condoms to prevent HIV andother sexually transmitted infections because they either areunavailable or too expensive, according to delegates who participatedin a workshop held ahead of the World Young Women's Christian Association's International Women's Summit on HIV and AIDS in Nairobi, Kenya, the Nation/AllAfrica.comreports. According to some delegates at the conference, which began onJuly 4, myths and stigma associated with female condoms also havecontributed to their low use.

Statistics provided by Robbie Nelson -- director of programs and sales for the Female Health Company,which manufactures female condoms -- indicate that Brazil and Zimbabweare the leading buyers of female condoms. Kenya this year has bought203,404 female condoms through the United Nations Population Fund,according to the statistics. Maya Gokul, the workshop's facilitator,said many women want to use female condoms but cannot access them.

RowenaNgubeni of YWCA-South Africa said that female condoms are not asreadily available as male condoms. Ahiodun Chris Oyeyipo, assistantrepresentative of UNFPA-Nigeria, said that because men might not alwaysbe willing to use condoms, female condoms are important given thatfamily planning methods are aimed primarily at preventing pregnancies.Oyeyipo added that correct and consistent use of female condoms couldreduce women's risk of HIV infection by more than 90%(Nation/, 7/2).

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