Shortage forces Kenyans to recycle condoms, use polythene paper

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African News Agency

Residents living in Archers Post, a small town located in Kenya’s Samburu County, have been using recycled condoms and polythene paper for protected sex in the wake of a shortage of condoms.

The little town, which is a transit point to Marsabit County and Moyale town on the Kenya-Ethiopia border, has experienced rapid growth in the last few years, the Daily Nation reported on Monday.

Archer’s Post is also popular with local and international tourists and where military forces are being trained by British soldiers, all contributing to the town’s expansion – and a spike in the sex trade with young women flocking there to take up prostitution.

And despite the availability of female condoms on the Kenyan market for over a decade, they have not proved popular with many locals who are uncertain how they work.

This in addition to a shortage of male condoms has led locals, well aware of the dangers of STDs, to come up with alternative options, including washing used condoms and using polythene paper.

But these unconventional alternatives have only exacerbated the spread of HIV/AIDS so Good Life Trust Executive Officer Dr Faith Ndiwa, to mark international World Aids Day, has embarked on a campaign trying to educate residents on how to protect themselves from contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

On Saturday, residents joined millions of their compatriots to mark World Aids Day. Participants pledged to engage in safe sex in a bid to reduce the HIV/Aids transmission rates, STDs and unwanted pregnancies in spite of the biting male condom shortage.