Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Condoms Not one size fits all

Joy Lynn Alegarbes, Director of Global Operation with UNPF

The third international United Nation Population Fund (UNPF) campaign dubbed as Condomize was launched in Addis Ababa at the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa, conducted from December 04 to 08, 2011. The campaign which is aimed at de-stigmatizing condom usage has distributed 500 thousand condoms in the five days of the conference.



One aspect of ICASA 2011 is a campaign to de-stigmatize the use of condoms. The Codomize campaign was officially launched in Vienna, Austria in 2010 but the campaign was already gaining traction before it was launched.

“The UNPF headed campaign has put up Condomise zones at several conferences; In 2010 in Vienna and in the Caribbean HIV conference at Bali in 2011. This one in Addis Ababa is the third Condomize Zone in an international conference. Prior to all this, UNPF had the campaign in Washington DC and other regional and international conferences,” said Joy Lynn Alegarbes, Director of Global Operation with UNPF.

“This is a Condomize campaign zone inside the Ethiopian Millennium Hall. It is an initiative of the United Nation Population Fund (UNPF) in partnership with the condom project and condom interagency task team. Our goals as a campaign are to de-stigmatize condom use and to encourage access to quality condoms when people need them. We want people to feel comfortable about them.  In this zone if you look around, large varieties of condoms are un-rolled and inflated. Delegates can see the different varieties of condoms, colors, textures, sizes, and enhancing lubricants that are available around the world now. We also have a pin made of condom art which is a de-stigmatization technique with lubricant testing. Delegates can come up and try one of the flavored lubricants. You will also see a very large collection of male and female condoms, dental dams, finger cups and additional safe sex supplies. We are distributing 500,000 male and female condoms in this conference alone,” she added.

The goal is to de-stigmatize the use of condoms and ensure access to not just condoms but quality condoms in a manner that people can easily access them whenever they need to; simply and without any embarrassment. “We have a very wide variety of condoms from all over the world in different sizes, shapes, textures, colors, and enhancing lubricants made from different materials and a wide variety of flavors. There are a huge variety of condoms here. We are telling people now that using condoms does not mean compromising what you feel during sexual activity because so many of these condoms can fit your body and  shape much better now, and at the end they can enhance the pleasure one can expect out of sex,” she told Capital.