CAPE TOWN, Feb. 7 — South Africa’s legislative capital Cape Town on Monday said its Health Department recorded a significant drop in the use of condoms, which contributes to a rise in the number of sexually transmitted infections.
The use of male condoms has nearly halved during the last financial year, while the use of female condoms is just more than a third of the previous year, the second consecutive year which shows a decline, the city said in a statement as it has entered Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)/Condom Month.
STIs have a profound impact on sexual and reproductive health worldwide, with more than 1 million STIs being acquired every day, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In South Africa, it is estimated that millions of people were newly infected with STIs in 2017 alone, including 4.5 million for gonorrhoea, 6 million for chlamydia and 71,000 for syphilis, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
The use of male condoms dropped from 30.6 million during the 2019/2020 financial year to over 16 million during the 2020/2021 financial year, read the statement.
The decline is “concerning,” especially when coupled with the rise in STIs, said the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health Patricia van der Ross in the statement. – XINHUA