Ugandan Officials Express Concern About Commercial Sex Workers Who Re-Use Female Condoms
Officials and HIV/AIDS advocates in Uganda during a recent meeting expressed concern about commercial sex workers in the country's capital of Kampala who re-use female condoms to protect themselves from contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted infections, Uganda's New Vision reports. The meeting, organized by Uganda's Ministry of Health and Population Services International, aimed to determine the best strategies for marketing female condoms.
According to Molly Basimaki, program assistant for the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS in Uganda, many commercial sex workers use female condoms because their clients often prefer to have unprotected sex. She added that commercial sex workers sometimes keep female condoms inserted for several hours because they have limited time between clients to discard used condoms. Vasta Kibirige, coordinator of the condom unit at the health ministry, said that it is "not advisable" to keep a female condom inserted for more than eight hours because "a person might develop side effects."
In addition, some women choose to re-use female condoms because they are relatively expensive, Basimaki said. Kibirige said the country's health ministry is "trying to find solutions on making the female condom available at a small cost." Anthony Mbonye, assistant health commissioner in charge of reproductive health, added that the ministry is procuring condoms and would purchase female condoms based on the demand. According to Kibirige, there are about 100,000 female condoms available in Uganda, compared with 27 million male condoms (Ariko, New Vision, 1/30).