“Reclaim the Condom” on BBC

We just received a press release about a new BBC World documentary on reclaiming condoms for love and pleasure in Mozambique. I haven’t gotten to see it yet (it was airing at 3:30am today, but I was clearly still asleep!), but it sounds like Sheila is doing a great job putting a pleasurable spin on condoms. Here’s the summary:

Twenty-two year old Sheila is a trained ‘agony aunt’. In her office at the North East Secondary school in Maputo, she listens to students’ stories about love, sex, birth control and AIDS, and offers advice – and free condoms. But out of 8,000 students, only 40 or 50 come to collect the condoms on offer. The problem, Sheila reckons, is the condom’s image – which is medical, off-putting, and inextricably linked in people’s minds with sickness and death. “HIV is not an issue for the young people”, Sheila says, “HIV is a campaign issue. It is not that they ignore it, but it is not their problem – they are in love and there is no place for HIV in a passionate relationship”.

Sheila knows sex and romance sell – so why not use them to promote condoms, and change perceptions? She’s launching a campaign to promote condoms as sexy contraceptives – not weapons in the fight against HIV and disease. In ‘Reclaim the Condom’, broadcast on BBC World News tomorrow, Sheila and her friends take her show out on the road to test her theory with ordinary Mozambicans.

It will be broadcast on BBC World News around the world this week, so check their website for details in your region. In case you’re curious, you can watch a clip from the show here.

You can also learn more about the program, check out the full transcript, or order a copy at the Lifeonline website.

Twenty-two year old Sheila is a trained ‘agony aunt’. In her office at the North East Secondary school in Maputo, she listens to students’ stories about love, sex, birth control and AIDS, and offers advice – and free condoms. But out of 8,000 students, only 40 or 50 come to collect the condoms on offer. The problem, Sheila reckons, is the condom’s image – which is medical, off-putting, and inextricably linked in people’s minds with sickness and death. “HIV is not an issue for the young people”, Sheila says, “HIV is a campaign issue. It is not that they ignore it, but it is not their problem – they are in love and there is no place for HIV in a passionate relationship”.

Sheila knows sex and romance sell – so why not use them to promote condoms, and change perceptions? She’s launching a campaign to promote condoms as sexy contraceptives – not weapons in the fight against HIV and disease. In ‘Reclaim the Condom’, broadcast on BBC World News tomorrow, Sheila and her friends take her show out on the road to test her theory with ordinary Mozambicans.

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