British consumers urged to choose the condom

Posted: 18 July 2003

A unique social condom initiative has been launched in the UK which allows people to do their bit to help combat HIV/AIDS in Africa.

The purchase of every 3-pack of COOL Condoms triggers two free condoms for distribution in Africa.

It's the first initiative of its kind and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which distributes the not-for-profit brand, hopes British consumers will switch to COOL so they can stay safe and help fight the biggest humanitarian crisis of the age.

Valerie Bireloze, marketing manager for COOL Condoms, said:

"The simplest solution to reduce the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection is to use a condom. Given their effectiveness it surely makes them the ultimate 'weapon of mass protection'. Every single day seven thousand people contract HIV and half of all new infections occur in people under the age of 25."

"Choosing COOL is an easy, practical way to help protect yourself and others."

HIV hitting young people

This week a major AIDS conference in Paris was told that a global shortage of free condoms is hampering efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa.

But it's not just Africa which faces a sexual health crisis. Dr Sarah Gill, a sexual health specialist at St Mary's hospital in London says, "in the UK cases of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections have risen dramatically over the past five years. We have recently seen escalating increases in all sexually transmitted infections but especially HIV/AIDS in the UK.

"Since 1999 the majority of new cases reported are among heterosexuals. Having had relatively steady rates of incidence for the last 15 years the numbers have recently doubled and continue to climb. We are particularly concerned about young people where rates of sexually transmitted infections are unacceptably high."

COOL Condoms, which meet all EU safety standards, are price controlled which means they are cheaper than other leading brands (£2.50 for three). They can be purchased online at and also at a growing number of high street outlets.

Source: IPPF, 16th July 2003