Garbage bags used as substitute condoms in Uganda

// 10 September 2005

Garbage bags are being used as substitute condoms in Uganda, because the government is restricting access to prophylactics, The Feminist Majority Foundation reports.

The Center for Health and Gender Equity has called attention to the shortage, which began in October 2004 and co-incides with a renewed emphasis on abstinence in government sex-ed initiatives. Uganda had been feted for its HIV/AIDS prevention drive, which led to falling infection rates in a continent otherwise ravaged by the disease.

But the success of the programme was down to its combination of a call for abstinance and fidelity with an emphasis on condom use (Abstain, Be Faithful, Use Condoms).

Young girls and women are thought to be particularly at risk from catching HIV in the country.

Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy on AIDS in Africa, told the BBC: “The government of Uganda appears to be under the influence of the American policy through the presidential initiative emphasizing abstinence far and away over condoms.”

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