By Mayank Jain:
On 23rd April, Durex India launched an interesting ad campaign that told us to have sex and celebrate it. The campaign was received with much euphoria by the Indian youth. An interesting jingle with effective advertising pierced right through the hearts of young people and the company managed to remind everyoneÂ to use condoms every time they have sex.
One can’t overemphasize the utility of condoms, but the recent developments made in the industry have the potential to turn our lives for better and give us another reason to use them: improved protection from HIV/AIDS.
An Australian company has moved one step closer to introducing a condom that can kill off most of the sexually transmitted virus and the list includes HIV. The condom which will be manufactured by an Australian prophylactic company, Ansell, is laced with a unique anti-microbial lubricant called the VivaGel which is manufactured by another Australian bio-tech firm.
The good part about the gel is that it kills multiple dangerous viruses which cause diseases including HIV, herpes, and HPV. They areÂ just a few steps away from production now. The gel has shown the capability to inactivate up to 99.99% of viruses including the common viruses. This breakthrough comes in the wake of ongoing campaigns around the globe for having save sex and using condoms which are one of the best protections.
It is to be noted that the condoms are not always 100% effective in preventing diseases or even pregnancies but the VivaGel lubricants will strengthen their capabilities to ward off the viruses. While the Gel might be able to prevent these diseases, there is a caveat. OnÂ continuous contact with different viruses the disease may show up since it is not full proof. Concern has been pointed out by an article in Huffington Post about the possibility of inflammation which might actually exacerbate the problem but the company has declined any such claims. Still, the high success rate of the gel is a feat worthy of celebration.
The news is very timely and pertinent to India. The condom might take some time to move from Australian markets to India. US is still doing its trials. However, India is home to the world’s third largest population suffering from HIV/AIDS after South Africa and Nigeria and this news does give us some hope for tackling the cases which have been cropping up inÂ all the states.
India’s north eastern region is one of the worst affected by cases of sexually transmitted diseases and the prevalence rate is much higher in rural areas with illiterate population. Prostitution has also been cited as one of the causes of these incidences in selective urban pockets. The programs run by the government to tackle AIDS in collaboration with UNAIDS have brought some good news.
India’s spending on AIDS has proved to be useful as a 2012 UN report on the disease pointed out that new HIV cases among adults have declined by half since 2000 which is definitely something to cheer about. On the other hand, the rate of reports of new cases in Asia has stayed consistent at around 1,000 instances every day which is a cause of concern.
Prevalence of birth control and contraceptives in the country is yet to catch up because of the cultural obstacles that crop up. Another problem is that sexually active people just lack the awareness and access to these methods which makes it a tough task to get people to use condoms. Protection against HIV and other deadly diseases however, might just prove to be the breakthrough we were waiting for.