South Africa Seeks a Billion Condoms for World Cup

Authorities fear major spike in HIV/AIDS

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 9, 2010 1:48 AM CST

(Newser) – Britain has pledged to supply 42 million condoms in response to South Africa's hunt for a massive billion condoms to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS during this summer's World Cup. Authorities fear a spike in visitor sex and some 40,000 prostitutes expected to travel to Johannesburg to ply their trade for the month-long tournament could trigger an HIV tsunami in a nation that already has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world, reports the Guardian.

Some 450 million condoms are distributed annually in South Africa, but supplies are always short with 16 million sexually active males in the nation where 1 in 5 adults suffers from AIDS or HIV. A half million visitors are expected to attend the World Cup. Britain pledged funds and condoms following last week's visit from South Africa President Zuma, who has been praised by health authorities for his efforts to battle AIDS. Some critics, however, say he's a poor role model for protected sex in light of his several wives and 20 children, the last one born out of wedlock.

South African President Jacob Zuma addresses the media during a visit to London last week. Critics say a man with 20 kids will never be taken seriously when he slams unprotected sex.
South African President Jacob Zuma addresses the media during a visit to London last week. Critics say a man with 20 kids will never be taken seriously when he slams unprotected sex.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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