by VR Sreeraman on  September 30, 2009 at 1:01 PM AIDS/HIV News
 Kenyans Urged Not To Lose Confidence In Condoms
Kenya has acquired a condom-testing machine from Australia to restore public confidence in condoms after a faulty brand was withdrawn from the market.

National Quality Control Laboratory head Hezekiah Chepkwony told reporters on Tuesday the machine was purchased for 175,000 US dollars (123,000 euros) by the UN Population Fund.

Its acquisition follows the withdrawal from the market of a batch of Hot brand condoms found to be ineffective.

National AIDS/STD Control Programme head Nicholas Muraguri urged the public not to lose confidence in condoms, saying the government plans to introduce more stringent quality controls.

Kenya is "not condemning all condoms," he said, "only Hot condoms which have a very small market share."

"Condoms are very important for HIV prevention and preventing pregnancy at a level of over 98 percent," he said.

In 2007 around 150 Kenyans were dying each day of AIDS-related diseases, the government has said.

Condom use in the country has come in for criticism notably from the Roman Catholic church and controversial first lady Lucy Kibaki.

Muraguri also warned that using latex condoms with petroleum-based products rather than water-based lubricants can render them ineffective.

"In Nairobi, maybe you are using Vaseline?" he said. "What do they use in the village? Maybe cooking fat or milking jelly. Some people even use oil from vehicles. Condoms and petroleum based products do not agree."

Source: AFP

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