Men In Zimbabwe Complain That Imported Chinese Condoms Are 'Too Small'

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The health minister of Zimbabwe is challenging condom makers to make better condoms than those that are being imported from China. Men are complaining about the imported condoms.  ( Jekesai Njikizana | AFP/Getty Images )

Zimbabwean Health Minister David Parirenyatwa says that men in Zimbabwe are complaining about Chinese condoms being brought into the country. Parirenyatwa is reaching out to condom makers to step up with a solution for the problem.

Zimbabwe has more than 1 million people with HIV.

Condom Problem

Parirenyatwa spoke at an event that marked the beginning of a new board for the Zimbabwe Private Sector HIV and AIDS Wellness (ZIPSHAW) recently. His comments were directly about condoms, many of which come from China.

During his remarks, he said that a majority of the condoms people can buy in Zimbabwe are imported from China. This has led to local men complaining about the size of the condoms. He spoke about the high incidence of HIV in the Southern African region.

"The youths now have a particular condom that they like but we don't manufacture them. We import condoms from China and some men complain that they are too small," said Parirenyatwa.

He added that this could mean big business for whoever decides to manufacture the condoms that men prefer. Parirenyatwa hopes that one of the country’s many large companies steps up to produce the condoms

Parirenyatwa also talked about the effect of HIV had on Zimbabwe.

"HIV and AIDS has had devastating effect on all sectors and the private sector has not been spared. This coordinating structure (ZIPSHAW) will ensure a more effective and efficient private sector response to HIV and wellness in Zimbabwe."

HIV In Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe distributed 109.4 million condoms in 2016, which would be 33 per person for the year. It is one of five countries that meets or exceeds the United Nation's Population Fund's regional mark of 30 condoms per man per year.

As of 2016, Zimbabwe has 1.3 million people living with HIV. The country has a high prevalence of HIV. It has the sixth highest prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa at 13.5 percent. Transmission in the country is mainly passed on through unprotected heterosexual sex.

Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe, causing many men who have sex with men from being able to access proper services to treat HIV symptoms.

Infections among infants are declining due to the availability of antiretroviral medicines to nearly every pregnant woman.

Deaths among those with AIDS-related illnesses are falling in the country. Deaths have decreased from 61,000 in 2013 to 30,000 in 2016.

In 2016, Zimbabwe had 40,000 new HIV infections. Three-quarters of funding for HIV protection in Zimbabwe comes from international donors.

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