Source: The Herald Online
The uptake of the female condom remains low compared to male condoms as women fail to negotiate safe sex, the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council says.

Speaking during a journalists' training seminar recently, ZNFPC marketing and public relations officer Mr Simon Chikwizo said comprehensive condom programming was needed to ensure HIV prevention in Zimbabwe.

"The key challenge is that condom use remains high in casual sex relationships but the uptake of female condoms in a marriage is significantly low.

"The reason for this is that women fail to negotiate for safe sex and there is great need to promote male involvement in condom programming and education," he said.

The media training seminar was meant to equip journalist with condom negotiation skills to impart comprehensively to the nation.

Mr Chikwizo said men shape social norms and public discourse that affect their participation in reproductive health and family planning.

"Safer sex depends on the ability to convince partners to use a condom without changing the basis of the relationship or intimacy of the moment.

"To start this there is great need to promote interpersonal communication between spouses with the ability to disclose information to each other.

"The participation of stake holders will be appreciated in the campaigns and education of both males and females alike on condom negotiation," he said.

He said such mobilisations were being taken to community leaders and headmen for information to flow to the people as the demand for the female condom remains low compared to the male one.

Currently, behaviour change and communication strategy, HIV testing and counselling and early identification and treatment of STIs are the methods being employed in Zimbabwe to arrest the spread of the virus. 

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