Health News of Friday, 30 May 2014
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has underscored the need to intensify education on the use of female condoms in the country.
But it appears sexually active Ghanaians are just unwilling to use the product which they describe as cumbersome and uncomfortable to use.
Currently, Condom use among women in Ghana stands at a low of 28.2% while use by men stands at 46.4%.
The UNAIDS believes that the Ghanaian youth who form the majority of the country’s most sexually active population needs be reached out to. Research indicates that effective national promotion of the female condom has the potential to expand contraceptive choice and, therefore, increase overall contraceptive use.
The Country Director for UNAIDS in Ghana; Girmay Haile has stated that although Female condoms are expected to empower women in matters relating to their sexuality, extra efforts are required in order to ensure that it gains acceptance among Ghanaians.
He indicated, “For any condom to make any difference especially in relation to HIV/AIDS infections, you must have a minimum of about sixty to seventy percent use of condoms to reduce dramatically the infection rate but what we have here is not good enough.”
Ultimate Radio sampled the views of a cross-section of the Ghanaian populace who expressed utmost dislike for the product with several of them preferring male condoms to the female condoms.
A woman intimated “the female condom is not something we are so comfortable with because I learnt that when you are using it is so uncomfortable you have to hold the ends.”
“I think it is uncomfortable, and I think if I do have sex, I would rather the guy uses a condom, or we practice coitus interatus,” a woman shared.
Some also indicated they will only consider using the female condom if their male partners refuse to use the male condom.
Some men who also shared their opinions lashed at the product vowing not to allow their partners use a female condom during sex.
“I don’t know why I should allow her to use a female condom because she is my partner, and we have to enjoy sex,” a young man fumed.
I wouldn’t allow my partner to use a female condom because I wouldn’t get that same excitement I will get. These female condoms have these lubricants that aren’t natural in the first place so even if you have sex with the person you won't get that natural feel” another man explained.
It appears the advocacy for the female condom to be patronized and used would not be an easy one for HIV/AIDS campaigners.
To worsen their plight, a recent report conducted by a team from the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Medical School in the Western, Ashanti and Northern regions has revealed shocking revelations about some rather unconventional uses people are finding for the use of condoms outside its original use for sexual activities.
According to the findings, condoms are being used by food venders to set fire for commercial use while other rural folk cut and string the female condoms for earrings.