Check it out. I think these are fantastic.
My colleague Obert used to work at Society for Family Health (SFH — previously called Social Marketing Association, SMA) who designed these condoms. They were designing them two years ago when he was working there and they have now finally been issued. He was at the RACOC meeting (Regional AIDS Coordinating Committee) and they gave everyone a sample.
Aside from the fact that these were needed 20 years ago, you must admit that this is a great piece of marketing. Not ever really being in the market for condoms, I had no idea how much “fashion” or “status” is associated with them. Here in Namibia, the government distributes condoms for free. The Smile brand is manufactured here and many organizations (including ours) and all health facilities give them away. But apparently everyone knows that the Cool Ryder brand is what the hip guys use, so it can be embarrassing (?) to pull a Smile out of your pocket.
Hence, military-specific condoms! Individually camaflouged! This was Obert’s only demonstration pack, so I didn’t rip open the packets. I do wonder how far the camaflouge theme goes, though.
Seeing these reminded me of the day many years ago when Dr. Banonya, the Medical Officer in Jinja, Uganda and I visited the local military camp. Nearly every guy we met there asked us for condoms which confused me. I mean, this was Uganda, one of the hardest hit nations and the showplace for every new HIV & AIDS theory and program, where it was well-documented that the military had one of the highest HIV prevalence rates. Doesn’t the government distribute condoms to their military? No, they did not. (I sure hope they do now.) Ah, those guys would love these condoms.