Condom distribution plan to stem the spike in STI cases in Gauteng

The department of health’s current attempt to emphasise the value of condom use has been prompted by the spike in Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) cases in the Gauteng province.

Increase in STIs in the province

Recently, the department said it has noticed a peak of STI incidences in sub-districts (Alexandra and Sandton) and inner city, Braamfontein and Hillbrow in Johannesburg. 

In 2020, the province recorded STIs at 12%. However, an increase has been recorded over the years to 15% in 2023.

Mashela Maheya of the Gauteng health department’s HIV/Aids, STI, and TB (HAST) unit said the provincial health department has a plan on the matter. She said it aims to promote sexual health fairness and reduce barriers to condom use.

“In order to achieve this, the agency distributes condoms via outreach initiatives, community centers, medical facilities, and educational establishments,” she said.

Condom distribution expanded to townships and hot spots

She further said they have expanded the supply of condoms to townships, informal settlements and hostels. This is to make sure that communities can obtain free male and female condoms in their areas.

“The active distribution of condoms is a critical component of public sexual health strategies. It promotes sexual health, prevents STIs and unintended pregnancies,. It also empowers individuals to make informed choices about sexual and reproductive well-being,” said Maheya.

Maheya said Non-Profit Organisations play a vital role in the distribution of condoms to the communities. This is because they have prioritised key population hotspots. These ensure that sex workers, people injecting drugs, and men having sex with men have access to condoms.

Supply to be made more frequently

“Free male and female condoms continue to be readily available at various locations. These include universities, taverns, hostels, hospitals, motels, workplaces, and key population hot spots.

“They [facilities] receive regular condom supplies based on their storage capacity. Deliveries occur daily, weekly, or monthly,” Maheya added.

During the State of the Province Address (SOPA) debate, health and wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko highlighted the matter. She mentioned the department’s efforts to educate students on critical topics. These topics include teenage pregnancy and family planning methods. Also suicide prevention, sexual behavior, and sexually transmitted infections.

Nkomo-Ralehoko said with this they equip the youth with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

Latest News