Popular Condom Celebrates 10th Anniversary, High Sales

Cambodia’s most popular condom celebrated its 10th anniversary this month, social marketing firm Population Services Inter­national said.

Over the past decade, PSI has sold more than 140 million Num­ber One condoms through phar­macies, market stalls, NGOs and brothels to help reduce HIV/

AIDS in Cambodia, Dr Nop Sotheara, PSI external relations manager said Monday.

“The celebration is that we have reached our sales target of 20 million per year,” Nop Sot­heara said.

PSI launched the condom on Dec 1, 1994, targeting it at sex workers and military police, both high-risk groups. Earlier this month, PSI kicked off a pilot project, the STOP-Z healthcare packet for men, a one-day treatment for the sexually transmitted infections gonorrhea and chla­mydia.

It contains four antibiotic pills, condoms and STI/HIV information materials and costs $3.

While Cambodian men shy away from public health facilities when they have a venereal infection, they tend to seek a quick, effective and affordable treatment, health experts said.

“Many people, particularly men, when they encounter STI[s]…tend to choose the private sector for [a] source of treatment,” said Andrew Boner, PSI’s country representative.

The packets can be bought at PSI’s Sun Quality Health Clinics, licensed pharmacies and the NGO Men’s Health Clinic. PSI plans to distribute a total of 3,500 STOP-Z packets before November 2005.

PSI also produces OK Con­dom, which targets toward married couples and those in relationships.

More than 2 million of the condoms, which were launched in April, have been sold, Nop Soth­eara said. A box containing four con­doms costs $0.08.

“The sale of Number One condoms is decreasing a bit because of the OK condoms,” Nop Soth­eara said. “OK condoms are do­ing very well on the market.”

But one unsatisfied customer questioned Number One’s claim to supremacy. Pick Leang, 16, of Bak Touk High School, complained that the sheath was thicker than that of its competitors.

Boner says if a condom is unpopular, it’s not the fault of its individual design. “People don’t like using condoms,” he said last month on World AIDS Day.

 

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