Making A Case Of The Dilemna In Condom Use

Condoms are test tube-like sheaths made out of latex or polyurethane. Its use in Uganda must have started after the establishment of the Aids Control Programme in 1987 -to educate the public about how to avoid becoming infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) -under the clinical umbrella of; Abstinence, Being -faithful and Use of condoms (ABC).

Studies have confirmed that condoms are highly effective method of preventing HIV/AIDS -with effective rates ranging between 80% and 95% -depending on how they are effectively and consistently used. While female condoms, which give a woman more bargaining position, are at 98% (Population Action International, 2008).

According to World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States National Institute of Health, intact condoms are essentially impermeable to particles the size of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) pathogens -including the smallest Sexually Transmitted Virus (STV).

Much of the percentages for effective rates vary from one information source to another -all of which do not reach 100%. Yet one would be dealing with a life threatening disease. Greater confidence has shown on how condoms are manufactured, under strict quality control measures, which too stipulate that they are safe. But quality measurements are done basing on a merely on a particular sample of say, five or ten. What quality assurance, then, could one give to those outside the sample?

And with inaccessibility problem still at hand, where in abc kids Uganda, the gates to health bodies are now wide open to catch the virus. Mayuge District, with one of the greatest cases of teenage pregnancy, and probably, most fertile people, access is very remote. Yet the majority of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are more in towns than rural areas. This puts health security at stake.

Firstly, in one independent survey carried out on HIV risk in Mayuge, young people, at least once, had unprotected sex. While at the same time, HIV testing facilities there are a dream. They could only be accessed at the main referral hospital. Now, how reliable could the prevalent rates be if in just one district the situation as that bad?
Secondly, absence of female condoms makes women entirely at risk of infection. If their male counter-part could find accessibility difficult, what would be the fate of women, who at all, lack key bargaining position; the female condoms?

Nevertheless, saying they (condoms) are effective, alone, is not enough because it would be a situation involving nature, fear and decision making to guarantee its usage. Not withstanding the fact that society has trained men to be brave, and women to be submissive, soft-hearted, and just to say yes to men’s advances. Given that background, how effective could condoms in particular and ABC strategy in general be?

Sex education too has not been adequate across post-primary and tertiary institutions. Well, an institution like Makerere University has Pastor Martin Ssempa -who has played a noble role in rallying students against HIV through abstinence slogan. As matter of fact, his works are already in the history of Uganda’s fight against HIV/AIDS.

But, firstly, are other schools and tertiary institution in similar motion against HIV/AIDS? Second