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Demand for favourite male condoms outstrips supplier’s capacity<figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /><figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> <p>The City of Cape Town has joined national efforts this week to highlight sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in a bid to reduce the number of STIs, including curbing the spread of HIV and Aids.</p><p>STI/Condom Week is marked annually on the South African Health calendar. While many STIs can be treated, some people feel uncomfortable accessing treatment for fear of being stigmatised. </p><p>City clinics offer education, advice, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Over a 12-month period, 41 153 new STIs were treated – an average of 3 429 a month. This figure is slightly lower than the previous year’s average of 3 599 a month.</p><blockquote cite=""><p> <em>​​​​"The drop in the number of sexually transmitted infections is not significant. Stigma remains a real challenge and there are people who refuse to seek help because they’re concerned about attitudes and perceptions."</em>​ <b><strong>Alderman JP Smith</strong></b><cite>City Mayoral Committee Member: Safety and Security; and Social Services</cite></p></blockquote> <figure class="figure-credits left"> <img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /> <figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> <p>To protect from STIs, male and female condoms are distributed free of charge at all clinics, with nearly 50 million male condoms distributed and more than 1,5 million female condoms over a 12-month period.</p><p>The distribution of male condoms in the public health sector has been a hot topic of late. Research found that Choice condoms were losing their appeal and a bigger variety of options was sought. This led the National Department of Health to introduce Max condoms in a range of scents and colours like strawberry, grape and vanilla.</p><p>‘The flavoured condom range is extremely popular – so much so that the service provider has been unable to keep up with demand. Currently, our clinics are out of stock and only expecting a new batch in the next week or two. So, we appeal to the public to be responsible and abstain or use the plain Choice condoms in the meantime. Let safety and responsibility be the flavour of the month if vanilla or strawberry cannot,’ said Alderman Smith.</p> Other key service delivery indicators relating to sexual health in 2015/16 include: <br><br> <ul><li>40 635 reproductive health services to clients under 18 years of age, against a target of 40 000</li><li>12 954 new clients started on anti-retroviral treatment against a target of 8 540</li></ul><p>‘City Health is doing a lot of good work around the health and well-being of residents who rely on the public health sector. Wellness and education drives are taken to communities, however, we need to start talking more honestly and openly about sex, especially when it concerns young people. The head-in-the-sand approach has never worked. We need to work together to equip adolescents to make safe and smart sexual and reproductive choices. No one should suffer unnecessarily or spread sexually transmitted infections because they’re worried about judgement or because they don’t know any better,’ added Alderman Smith. </p> <br> <br> <strong>End</strong>2017-02-11T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#986dc1d5-9de8-46bc-aee2-f4911c1e5735;L0|#0986dc1d5-9de8-46bc-aee2-f4911c1e5735|STI;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#14a7c00d-46ed-440f-8269-7c0831013473;L0|#014a7c00d-46ed-440f-8269-7c0831013473|Condom week;GP0|#806ae162-4df1-4a54-86eb-5f3eec581938;L0|#0806ae162-4df1-4a54-86eb-5f3eec581938|sexual health matters1


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