You thought the regular and fruit flavored condoms are all condom manufacturers have to offer. But wait till you read this. The latest buzz is that coffee has invaded the world of condoms today especially in a country faced with a serious problem on HIV/AIDS.
A charitable organization based in the United States has recently come up with java-scented condoms for Ethiopia which claims to have actually invented coffee. But this new product isn’t just for anything or to gain profit because it aims to fight the dreaded AIDS disease in the African country and promote safe sex among adolescents, according to an officer of the charitable organization.
Latest government statistics show that the rate of AIDS in Ethiopia is 2.1 percent and 7 percent in its capital. A new study also revealed that among the nearly one million people who tested for HIV, seven percent tested positive of the virus. Compared to a previous study, a 26 percent increase was noted among those who tested positive for HIV in just a span of one year. In addition, Ethiopia is actually home to ten percent of the total HIV cases worldwide.
This alarming report has prompted DKT International based in Washington D.C. to come up with a unique condom flavor. Another reason was the negative reception of some users concerning the scents of other condoms such as that of durian in Indonesia, sweet corn in China and the regular latex scent.
The new coffee flavored condom got a strong reception right away in Ethiopia. In its first week of release alone in September 2007, some 300,000 consumers bought the coffee condoms. The product sells in packs of three at a price lower than a cup of real coffee in the country’s capital.
Of course, DKT Ethiopia exerted much effort in researching for its new product and the result is remarkable. The condom just like coffee is colored dark brown and smells like the popular macchiato espresso coffee with sugar and cream of Ethiopia. The macchiato coffee preferred by consumers in the capital Addis Ababa is normally made with espresso as well as sugar and milk.
DKT Ethiopia’s director Andrew Piller made it clear that their global social marketing group is not out to make profits but only wants to make sure that adults are comfortable in using condoms and continue to practice safe sex.
But then again, condom promoters like DKT International can’t please every consumer. Despite the introduction of the new coffee flavor at a lower price at that, some consumers are not truly satisfied. Some of them just don’t prefer the coffee flavor while the Ethiopian Orthodox Church spokesman says it’s quite inappropriate to promote condom use notably condoms patterned after the scent of the country’s famous coffee. The church feels the most suitable solution to the growing AIDS problem is abstinence instead of using condoms.
On the whole, this new coffee condom may be a good way to raise awareness on the growing AIDS problem in Ethiopia and responsible and safe sex. But then again, the effort should not end with the introduction of the new product and should be a continuous process.
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