Tags: safrica | condoms | cup | world

S. Africa Wants Billion Condoms for World Cup

Monday, 08 Mar 2010 11:45 PM


Britain is to give 42m condoms to South Africa in response to a request for an extra billion as part of an HIV prevention drive before the World Cup, the government will announce today.

The request for British help in stockpiling sufficient condoms for the expected influx of thousands of football supporters in three months' time was made during President Jacob Zuma's recent visit to the UK to meet the Queen.

"Obviously there's a big focus on the World Cup coming up and a huge increase in the number of people coming into South Africa," said the international development minister, Gareth Thomas, who will announce the £1m funding today at an emergency summit in London on HIV prevention and treatment. "The South Africans have identified themselves the need to get more condoms in place. South Africa specifically asked for British assistance and we are responding to that request." He pointed out that the fans would inevitably spill over into neighbouring African countries with high HIV rates, which would also need to take precautions.

The South African government estimates that up to half a million visitors could travel to the country, raising fears of a rise in prostitution and sex trafficking from neighbouring countries and eastern Europe, and creating a potential HIV timebomb.

Last week South Africa's Central Drug Authority warned that 40,000 prostitutes were expected to arrive for the month-long tournament.

South Africa is embroiled in a struggle to combat the world's biggest HIV caseload and to convince its population of the importance of safe sex.

The South African health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, expressed concern that the message was being ignored because people believe HIV can now be easily treated.

To read full London Guardian story — Go Here Now.

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