The Centre for African Family Studies (CAFS), an African Institution that seeks to promote quality sexual reproductive health for all and with a special emphasis on promoting responsible sexual behavior amongst the youth, has launched a Pop-Art Condo
This initiative was sparked by the need to increase condom use among the youth and reduce the spread of HIV infections. It is perceived that majority of Kenyans assume that only married people are having sex. Those perceptions have made many believe that condoms should be used for family planning and nothing else. But multiple surveys reveal that the youth are having sex at relatively young ages, majority of whom have unprotected sex since they can't access the condoms because they are embarrassed of buying condoms.
CAFS partnered up with a local Pop-Artist named Michael Soi, a Nairobi based artist whose pieces provide a personal reflection and satirical commentary on contemporary social, economic and political trends in Kenya. Most of his work is inspired by the city of Nairobi and focuses on the controversial yet interesting aspects of life in Nairobi. Michael's art will be printed on the condom wrappers to give them a funky and exciting look.
The PopArt condoms will come in various bright colors: red, green, blue, yellow and pink. They are made of high quality latex, scented and have exciting and funky Pop Art printed on the glossy wrappers, something the youth find trendy. This new line of condoms will encourage youth who are already having sex to practice safe sex. Access to condoms will also be increased since these condoms will be distributed by the youth. CAFS has identified various youth organizations that will take part in this project. They will be the main distribution channels for these condoms. This will also reduce the stigma associated with purchasing condoms since distribution will be done by their peers.
CAFS is using an unconventional method to make this project succeed since it is raising the funds through Indiegogo, instead of spending time trying to convince donors to fund the project. It is also using a local artist to promote Kenyan art.
"Young people in Kenya have a problem going to the shops to buy condoms publicly. They are afraid of being judged by the vendors and the people in their communities," Said Mr. Jonathan Stuart Spangler, Director of Operations and Business Development in CAFS. "Our research shows that there is a market and unmet need for a high quality and exciting condoms."World Health Organization estimates that the percentage of condom use in Kenya among young people, aged 14-24, is 25% for females and 47% for males.
"We are simply playing our part in making sure that the young people have safe sex. At the same time, we hope that this will help reduce the number of cases of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. This is our little contribution in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Kenya." Mr. Spangler said.
To learn more about the campaign, readers may visit here.