A condom social marketing initiative for indigenous Australia
R Molloy, Bev Greet
Marie Stopes International Australia, Melbourne, Australia
Issues: The general population of Australia is recognised as being one of the healthiest of any developed country. In contrast, the Indigenous Australian population is one of the least healthy, even worse than in many developing countries.Rates for STIs are remarkably high among the Aboriginal population, and the rate of HIV/AIDS notification is increasing (a direct result of low condom usage).
Description: The Condom Social Marketing Project for Indigenous Australia is a 12-month pilot project, which aims to promote subsidised condoms via a strategic marketing strategy. The research indicated that there was a range of social and cultural barriers to condom use in Indigenous communities, particularly as the distribution of free condoms has had little or no impact on sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates which are continuing to rise. Many Indigenous people did not view condoms as culturally relevant.
Lessons learned: Through the project we are making condoms more accessible to Indigenous people at places where they regularly gather and at times when they are making decisions about their sexual behaviour. The new “snake” branded condom has been designed to be much more appealing to Indigenous people than other brands currently on the market which are not in any way culturally relevant to the Indigenous Australian community. Discovering new ways to provide condoms to Indigenous Australian people has enabled us to reach new groups of potential users, particularly young people.
Recommendations: This project is a tremendous example of many sectors of the community working together to achieve a positive change. We see this initiative as a much needed culturally appropriate approach to promoting sexual health in an attempt to reduce the spread of STI/HIV/AIDS infections in Indigenous communities.
The XV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. TuOrD1166
” R Molloy, et al. A condom social marketing initiative for indigenous Australia. Oral Abstract session: The XV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. TuOrD1166″