2.7 Condom demonstration

Objectives:
The audience knows about the purpose and the right use of condoms. Rumours and contradicting information are dispelled.

Materials:
new male and female condoms
wooden penis

Description:
Practical exercise with audience participation.

Realization:
The speaker should stress the importance of condoms. HIV/AIDS are widespread, and pre-marital sex is not a rarity. The person who acknowledges this has to point out the opportunity of using condoms. Otherwise the person withholds an effective way of protection.

Male condom:
The speaker demonstrates its proper use. Before he opens the condom with his hands on the marked place, he pays attention that the condom is undamaged and has not exceeded its expiring date. Afterwards he explains the purpose of the reservoir, and holds this tightly while unrolling the condom. After the ejaculation the condom is held tightly at the shaft of the penis, and pulled out of the vagina. Then the condom is tied with a knot and disposed: burn, bury or dustbin. Further information on the singularity of use, price and where to buy condoms follow the demonstration.
After the demonstration the speaker asks somebody from the audience to come in front to demonstrate a condom’s proper use a second time. The volunteer should be given enough time and advice. Arising problems are pointed out and discussed.

Female condom:
To our mind it is best if a woman demonstrates the use of a female condom, because she is seen as more credible. In the beginning there follow the same steps as for the male condom: singularity of use, expiring date and opening with hands. The female condom differs from the male condom in two ways: it contains more lubricant and has an inner and outer ring. Both of the rings serve to hold the condom inside. The inner ring serves, moreover, to increase the ease of inserting the condom. For demonstration purposes, one can use a hand to symbolize the vagina. Operating instructions can be found on the back of the condom’s package. The frequency of use is a controversial case. We recommend the single use of a female condom and the following disposal. However, the condom can be inserted several hours in advance of sexual intercourse.
Further information on the price and where to buy condoms follow the demonstration.

After the demonstration the speaker points out that male and female condoms should not be used at the same time, and that male condoms should not be doubled. In the opinion that this provides better protection one is wrong. In fact the level of protection reduces, because the rubbing of condoms between each other can cause cracks.
Furthermore, the speaker again explains the order of precedence for the several ways of protection, and stresses that abstinence is the safest way.

Duration:
15 Minutes.

Problems:
The awareness program takes place in a religious context, a church, a mosque or at a religious youth meeting.
> The recommendation of condom use is always a balancing act between the security needs of the youth and the religious and conservative attitudes of local clergymen.
Here it is recommended to clarify the standpoints of the people in charge before the awareness program takes place. In case the people in charge are not open-minded towards condoms, the module should be dropped fully, and short attention on condoms should be paid within the boats of hope module
According to our experience, questions on condoms will also arise in religious contexts, meaning that the speakers can deepen the issues without the module “condom demonstration.”

Questions:
I have heard that condoms easily burst or that the pores of the condom are bigger than the HIV – is this true?
Answer: With proper use, the chances that a condom will burst are very small – approximately two of one hundred. Thus, they are not 100 per cent safe. One can blow up a condom to demonstrate its elasticity.
Condoms are made out of latex and have no pores at all.

Which brand can you recommend? Do condoms fit to variously large penises?
Answer: It was hard for us to recommend a certain brand. We referred to quality measures and tests within the production process that have to be fulfilled by all brands of condoms.
In Europe different condom sizes are offered. This was not the case in Akatsi, Ghana, and so we pointed out the elasticity of the condom (see above).

I have heard a story that in East Africa many condoms were distributed, and at the same time HIV infections were rising?
Answer: We do not know the truth, context and source of this information. It is recommended to again talk about the proper use of condoms, because only proper use offers extensive protection. If a condom is applied in the wrong way, there is no difference to this and unprotected sexual intercourse.
[It was important to us to not slide down into complex and abstract attempts of explanation. We wanted to avoid being unintelligible.]

Can the female condom get lost in the women and kill her?
Answer: No, there is nothing dangerous about the female condom. The cervix prevents the condom to find its way into the womb. One can also stress on the two rings again, which keep the condom in the correct position.

Alternatives:
Should there be enough concentration left on the side of the audience, the module “STI’s in general” is better placed, regarding the subject matter, after the module “boats of hope” and before the module “condom demonstration”.

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