Sexual health news for South Africa this morning. In the area of the world that has the highest amount of people struggling with AIDS (5.6 million) certain condoms have been bursting, ripping or leaking. The faulty condoms are among more than 1.35 million handed out at the African National Congress’ 100th birthday party.

Health officials confirmed that all of those condoms have been ordered to be recalled. The Treatment Action Campaign said no warning has been issued to people that they may have carried away defective condoms that could now cause them to unsuspectingly spread or contract HIV, HPV and other STI’s. Read more after the photo.

The condoms in question say “choice” on the packaging and unfortunately this is not the first time there have been problems with government issued condoms. This is a third recall in less than five years and it certainly raises questions about the quality of the 425 million-plus condoms the government hands out yearly and how competent the South African Bureau of Standards is at ensuring their quality is up to international standards.

The Treatment Action Campaign said they complained to the health department.

“We had people flocking in, coming to report that the condoms had burst while they were having sex. Some were panicking because they were infected with AIDS and were concerned for their partners”

In 2007, South Africa recalled over 20 million faulty condoms manufactured locally and recovered only 12 million. That was after a recall that same year of 5 million defective, locally produced condoms. In that incident, the Ministry of Health said a testing manager at the South African Bureau of Standards had been bribed into certifying the defective condoms.

If you were given condoms at the time of the African National Congress’ 100th birthday party, do not use them, if you have already, go get tested.
Condoms do work at preventing HIV, in fact, This defective condom news comes just a week after the Journal of the Royal Society Interface published a new study indicating increased condom use accounted for the vast majority of the decline in HIV infections in South Africa between 2000 and 2008.

Epidemiologist Leigh F. Johnson and colleagues at the University of Cape Town found that increased condom use accounted for more than 70 percent of the decline.

Stay safe and always use brands that you trust and that have a good track record.