Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
1 Dec 2021
1:55 pm

World Aids Day: Practise safe sex, don’t use expired condoms

Cheryl Kahla

Always inspect the condom package for damages and take note of the expiry date. It's there for a reason.

Picture: iStock

On World Aids Day, the South African Bureau of Standards (Sabs) is calling on all South Africans to practise safe sex and use condoms.

Sabs wishes to remind everyone of the prevalence of HIV/Aids in South Africa and urges everyone to use Sabs-certified condoms.

World Aids Day 2021

HIV in South Africa

The reminder follows after Statistics South Africa confirmed the total number of people in the country living with HIV now stands at 8.2 million. 

Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic shifted the immediate focus away from the fight against HIV/Aids. Unfortunately, the battle is far from over.

Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) chairperson, Sibongile Tshabalala, said on Tuesday it had been 40 years since HIV was first identified in South Africa, but “we are still talking about inequality”.

Millions of people living with HIV are still unable to access treatments due to a variety of reasons, but mostly because they reside in rural areas.

Practise safe sex, says Sabs

Due to this, Sabs says it takes “matters of public health and consumer safety very seriously”, and has urged everyone to do the same.

“While the world is focussing on fighting Covid-19, we also want to remind South Africans that the HIV pandemic requires sustained attention,” Sabs said in a statement.

Citizens’ own responsibility

Sabs is doing everything by the book on their part but it falls on all citizens to take responsibility for their sexual health.

One way is to “use condoms and practise safe sex,” said Sabs lead administrator Jodi Scholtz, but it doesn’t stop there.

Anyone engaging in sexual activities should ensure individual packets of condoms are not leaking, torn or broken. Moreover, condoms should not be exposed to extreme heat.

Always inspect the package for damages and take note of the expiry date. It’s there for a reason.

NOW READ: How talking to your teen about sex can help promote safe sex

Stringent criteria to test condoms

Sabs has a dedicated condom testing facility where all batches of condoms “are tested in strict laboratory conditions, in accordance to stringent criteria”.

When sample failures are detected, Sabs says the “entire batch of condoms will be disqualified to ensure no defective products will enter the market”.

This is mandatory, and Sabs has appointed a certification body for the national Department of Health and National Treasury to conduct the testing.