Nation Examines Condom Brand Promotion, Marketing in Kenya
Kenya's Nation on Tuesday examined condom brand promotion and marketing to prevent sexual HIV transmission in Kenya (Ayieko, Nation, 5/2). According to a recent United Nations report, HIV prevalence in Kenya decreased from 13.6% in the 1990s to approximately 6% in 2003. Although it is unknown how much social marketing has contributed to the decline, there is evidence that more people in the country are using condoms, according to Warren Buckingham, Kenya interagency coordinator for the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/25). More than 10 brands of condoms now "battle for the youthful market" in Kenya using various promotional strategies, including sponsoring fashion shows, golf tournaments and modeling competitions and using celebrities in advertisements. Brands carry names such as Trust, Erotica, Rough Rider and Preventor to elicit certain images and emotions, according to the Nation. "There is competition but our ultimate goal is to sensitize our people on the importance of using condoms as a way of protecting oneself," Richard Ngatia, managing director of Megascope Healthcare, the distributors of Preventor brand condoms, said. The condom brands available in Kenya are targeted at various ends of the market, ranging from about $0.07 for a pack of four Romantex brand condoms to about $1.12 for a pack of 3 Preventor condoms, the Nation reports. Trust brand condoms, marketed by Population Services International, aims to "cut across the social divide from the rich to the poor" and sell for $.14 for a pack of three, Sheila Maviala of PSI said. PSI has found an "identity" for Trust condoms by using musicians, comedians and TV personalities with whom Kenyan youth can relate, the Nation reports. PSI also is working with the Kenyan government to increase the demand for and usage of condoms nationwide (Nation, 5/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.