Condoms are highly effective in preventing the spread of HIV. However, reported condom use with non-regular partners is consistently lower amongst young women than young men.
Condoms should be promoted and distributed in a range of settings, including retail networks, health facilities, condom dispensers and schools and through community-based promotion and distribution.
Condom promotion and distribution should also take into account and seek to address the various individual, relational, community and society-level factors that act as barriers to AGYW, including those from key populations, accessing and using condoms.
Table 1: Barriers to condom use among adolescent girls and young women
Do not know that condoms are protective.
Do not believe that condoms are protective.
Do not believe they can get their partners to use condoms.
Do not know where they can get condoms.
Feel embarrassed to ask for condoms.
Cannot pay for condoms.
Do not know how to use condoms.
Cannot negotiate condom use.
Partners do not know that condoms are protective.
Partners do not believe that condoms are protective.
Partners do not believe they need to use condoms.
Partners do not like to use condoms.
Partners do not have skills to use condoms.
Condoms are not available in shops.
Condoms are available in shops, but vendors do not sell them to young women.
Condoms are not available in health facilities.
Condoms are available in health facilities, but health workers do not offer them.
Condoms are offered for free, but in small quantities, which may imply cost for returning to the facility.
Laws and policies do not support the promotion and free distribution of condoms.
Inadequate allocation of resources for condom. procurement and distribution.
Laws prohibit the sale of condoms, especially to unmarried young women.
Strategies: Innovative multimedia approaches to prevent HIV: Shuga TV
HIV prevention programmes can use a range of mass media approaches – social media, call-in radio and TV programmes, talk shows, soap operas and advertising – to increase awareness of HIV information and services and promote social and behaviour change amongst a large audience. They are especially useful for reaching young people.
The Shuga TV multimedia programme is an example of a successful multimedia approach. Shuga TV combines various types of media including a TV and radio soap opera, an interactive web page and YouTube. It includes messages about HIV testing, counselling, condom use, positive prevention, gender inequality, sexual violence, transactional sex, alcohol abuse and the role of multiple concurrent partnerships in the HIV epidemic. The programme was started in 2009 in Kenya and has since spread to 40 countries and more than 70 TV stations.
The organisation has the ability to assess and analyse barriers to condom use at the individual, relational, community and society levels
The organisation has the capacity to design clear distribution plans (through retail networks, health facilities, condom dispensers and schools etc.), with national and district level distribution targets, specifically considering the needs of AGYW
The organisation has the ability to carry out skills building on comprehensive condom programming.