South Africa’s leading HIV group warned the one million condoms handed out during the African National Congress centenary celebrations might be porous. Health officials have recently recalled more than one million condoms handed out to guesthouses, hotels, restaurants and bars during the ANC celebrations.
The Free State Health Department says that they are taking a precautionary measure by recalling 1.35 million condoms. Some 8,700 boxes of condoms were quality tested by the South African Bureau of Standards and had the South African Bureau of Standards stamp which was to ensure they met standards for the World Health Organization. Those condoms with the stamps are being invested.
AIDS activist Sello Mokhalipi of the Treatment Action Campaign said, “People have started coming with complaints about the condoms on January 11, 2012 which is three days after the celebrations ended.” This is prompting his office to run some tests on the condoms. “We poured water into the condoms and they were leaking, not just in one place, they were leaking like a sieve,” he adds. “You can see there are small pores like pinpricks.”
“We had people flocking in, coming to report that the condoms had burst while they were having sex,” AIDS activist Sello Mokhalipi says. He worries that the health department hasn’t issued a countrywide warning about the faulty condoms that were handed out in Bloemfontein during the ANC celebrations.
“People came from all over and probably took many away with them, so those condoms are now all over the country.” AIDS activists Mokhalipi added, “We want the department to go out and tell people about these faulty condoms. How can they say people should not panic if there are still clearly people out there in possession of these condoms.”
People are worried because they are infected with AIDS and are now concerned about their partners. South Africa has one of the highest numbers of HIV infection in the world. Recently, they made a push to promote awareness and condom use.
Image Credit: TheNewAge.co.za