Africa: Activists protest denial of condoms in schools and prisons

| April 12, 2015

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Health experts say the opportunity to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS may be squandered because of restrictions blocking the distribution of condoms in African schools and prisons.

Elvis Chuma is an activist in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. He says: “We have worked [hard] … to fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. Yet … most of our African governments have vehemently refused to allow condoms to be distributed, with the common excuse that they promote homosexuality in jails and sexual immorality in schools.”

Tamasha Nyerere is an independent HIV and AIDS counsellor based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She says: “It will be hard for Africa to win the war against HIV [and] AIDS if certain groups of people like students and prisoners are being skipped from preventive measures.”

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Photo: Distributing condoms in prisons and schools has set off a heated debate, rendering the fight against HIV/AIDS a challenge ahead of this year’s U.N. deadline for nations to halt its spread. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/ IPS