- REUTERS/Rogan Ward
A recent recall on 1.35 million defective condoms in South Africa has been a cause for alarm within the country, which has the highest HIV rates worldwide.
Over one million condoms were given away at the African National Congress party's centenary celebrations – many of which were porous, while others broke during intercourse, according to Associated Press Reports.
Sello Mokhalipi, AIDS activist for the Treatment Action Campaign, told the publication that he complained to the local health department after receiving complaints from those who attempted to use the faulty condoms.
The activist described testing the condoms, which began leaking upon use.
"We poured water into the condoms and they were leaking, not just in one place, they were leaking like a sieve," Mokhalipi said. "Looking at them, you can see there are small pores."
The AIDS activist said many people showed concern after discovering faults within their prophylactics.
"We had people flocking in, coming to report that the condoms had burst while they were having sex," Mokhalipi said.
Still Jabu Mbalula, spokesman for the health department of Free State province, said people should not be panicking. Although the condoms, which were given out at the African National Congress party's centenary celebrations in the beginning of January, were recalled less than two weeks later.
The health department is reportedly conducting tests on the recalled condoms, and has since issued a new batch. Still, Mokhalipi said the department is not doing enough to protect people during the mass recall.
"We want the department to go out and tell people about these faulty condoms," Mokhalipi said in the AP report. "How can they say people should not panic if there are still clearly people out there in possession of these condoms. People came from all over and probably took many away with them, so those condoms are now all over the country."
The condom recall is not the first to take place in South Africa.
Over 20 million condoms were recalled in 2007, with media reports stating that a testing manager was bribed to certify the faulty condoms. The following year, 5 million condoms were recalled.
South Africa reportedly has the highest number of people infected with the HIV virus worldwide.