Condoms must be used for what they are meant for, and should not be misused by children who blow them up like balloons.
This was the call made by the National Association of People living with HIV and Aids (Napwa) in Limpopo yesterday.
Napwa provincial secretary Lawrence Sengwane urged political and religious leaders, teachers, tavern owners and the general public to warn the youth against the use of condoms as balloons.
“All stakeholders must join the campaign against the misuse of state resources, as this is taking the country’s progress in fighting HIV and Aids backwards,” Sengwane said.
This comes after SA was chosen as the host country for the National Aids Conference, scheduled to take place in Durban next month.
SA will be welcoming the world to see how far the country is in the fight against the disease and stigmatisation and discrimination.
Sengwane, who hails from Bela-Bela, said he was worried that his home town was leading the province with a high infection rate.
“What makes it even worse is that government has made flavoured condoms free and available for public use, but now instead these condoms are all over the streets, particularly next to taverns,” he said.
He called on tavern associations to assist with storage of condoms “in proper places for patrons to collect and use appropriately”.
The Department of Health, through NGOs, must also make condoms cans available for toilet placements, Sengwane added.
“Our teenagers and youth must also help those that are sexually active by reserving condoms for usage than throwing them around as the lubricants will not be safer for use once exposed to the sun,” he said.
Joe Maila, spokesman for the Health Department, said he was disappointed about the conduct of the youth if the allegations were true.
“If indeed that is happening, it’s extremely irresponsible and we want to urge people to come to their senses and use condoms for what they are meant to,” said Maila.