On International Condom Day, UNAIDS is calling for countries to remove barriers that hinder access to, and the use of, condoms. Condoms are an effective means of preventing HIV and sexually transmitted infections. With the annual number of new HIV infections among adults remaining static at 1.9 million for the past five years, and increasing in some parts of the world, there is an urgent need for improved access to HIV prevention options, including condoms and lubricants. For example, the gap between availability and need in sub-Saharan Africa—the region most affected by HIV—is estimated to be more than 3 billion condoms.
UNAIDS supports creative and strategic thinking around innovative approaches to improving condom availability. Countries should make condoms available for free or at a low cost through their public health facilities and engage in imaginative marketing strategies and distribution systems, including social enterprises and community-based programmes.
In 2015, there were 2.1 million new HIV infections. Increasing access to condoms is a critical element to meeting the target of fewer than 500 000 new HIV infections by 2020—an important milestone in efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.