See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Mozambique: Different views of condom use in Africa

Somewhere on a dusty soccer pitch in Mozambique, a group of boys are playing a game of soccer. Suddenly a man runs onto the field shouting. He stops the game and accuses the boys of stealing his condoms. There are different ways to use condoms. In Mozambique, young boys are great consumers of them…

In a country which struggles to combat AIDS, twenty million condoms are distributed every year. Considering that at least 4 million Mozambican men are sexually active from a population of 17.4 million inhabitants, this makes a personal allowance of five condoms for the whole year. Directed by Mozambican filmmaker Orlando Mesquita, The Ball was one of the films showcased on PangeaDay and presents a lighthearted – and surprising – view of condom use in Mozambique: thousands of them are ingeniously turned into footballs, only one of the examples of how children use condoms for fun.

The Ball is part of the Steps for the Future video collection, a collaboration between international and Southern African filmmakers with three main aims:

“To produce a collection of 40 documentaries and short films that examine the lives of people living in Southern Africa whose lives have been affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
To provide invaluable training to Southern African filmmakers with the support of some of the best filmmakers drawn from around the world.
To distribute the films to regional AIDS organisations for use in AIDS education and training.”

It is estimated that 16% of the population, around 1.5 million Mozambicans, are HIV positive. According to the UNAIDS website, the estimates for HIV and AIDS are:

Number of people living with HIV: 1 500 000 [1 300 000 – 1 700 000]
Adults aged 15 to 49 prevalence rate: 12.5% [10.9% – 14.7%]
Adults aged 15 and up living with HIV: 1 400 000 [1 200 000 – 1 600 000]
Women aged 15 and up living with HIV: 810 000 [690 000 – 960 000]
Children aged 0 to 14 living with HIV: 100 000 [87 000 – 120 000]
Deaths due to AIDS: 81 000 [67 000 – 98 000]
Orphans due to AIDS aged 0 to 17: 400 000 [280 000 – 590 000]

The most at risk group are young women aged between 15 and 24. A shipment of 700 million female condoms, acquired under the government's partnership with UNAIDS, is due to arrive in Mozambique and will be distributed free of charge throughout the country. Vasikate va Moçambique [pt] welcomes the method and pleads with other woman to resort to it:

Mas, sendo que não há bela sem senão: ele pode fazer um pouco mais de barulho durante a relação sexual. A colocação não é tão simples quanto a versão masculina, exigindo um pouco mais de concentração na colocação. Depois de colocada, uma pequena parte fica visível fora da vagina, criando uma aparência um pouco esquisita para quem não está acostumado tal como o preservativo masculino que também já deve ter causado quando começou a ser utilizado! Mulheres, joguem com os vossos trunfos! Se na hora da negociação não conseguirem se impor, usem a única alternativa para a mulher se proteger quando um parceiro não quer usar preservativo masculino: o preservativo feminino pois o poder de decisão na hora do sexo, que é uma escolha de vida, ainda está em nossas mãos.

But nothing is perfect: it can be a bit more noisy during sexual intercourse. Usage is not as simple as the male version, requiring a bit more concentration on placement. After you put it on, a small part is visible outside the vagina, creating a slightly weird look to those who are not familiar, like the male condom might also have been when they began to be used! Ladies, play to your strengths! If at the time of negotiation you are unable to impose your will, use the only alternative available for woman to protect yourselves when a partner does not want to use a male condom: the female condom, because the decision-making power at the time of sex, which is a choice for life, is still in our hands.

The female condom. © Asian Community AIDS Services. The question may be: do they make good footballs too?

2 comments

  • […] In a country which struggles to combat AIDS, twenty million condoms are distributed every year. Considering that at least 4 million Mozambican men are sexually active from a population of 17.4 million inhabitants, this makes a personal allowance of five condoms for the whole year. Directed by Mozambican filmmaker Orlando Mesquita, The Ball was one of the films showcased on PangeaDay and presents a lighthearted – and surprising – view of condom use in Mozambique: thousands of them are ingeniously turned into footballs, only one of the examples of how children use condoms for fun. [link] […]

  • Martin Konzett

    this boy is sucking on a condom … found on Likoma Island, Malawi

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site