Religious leaders have softened up their decision against general condom use in Malawi. Government officials see it as positive news in the fight against HIV/AID. Media reports say condom use in the southern African country remains below the levels needed to halt the spread of the disease.
Malawi is one of the Southern African Development Community member states with a high HIV prevalence rate, though government efforts have helped stabilize the situation to 12 per cent national prevalence rate.
National AIDS Commission Executive Director, Biziwick Mwale, said the trend was worrisome because HIV/AIDS service organizations were doing a commendable job in sensitising communities. "The most worrying factor is that condom use seems to be low in long term partnerships and marriages. Condom use is just over the 50 per cent mark, but has never reached 55 per cent,” said Mwale.
The sub-Saharan country distributes 20 million male condoms against 200, 000 female condoms. Only half of these are sold and used, AfricaNews reporter said. Female Condom activists hope that increased awareness about FCs could help reverse the situation.