Today the female condom is the only female-initiated prevention method that provides double protection – against both pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases.
Over 215 million women worldwide do not have access to contraceptives and one third of all pregnancies are unintended (and many unwanted). In sub-Saharan Africa, where 61% of all new HIV infections occur among women, the female condom provides a method that can help to reduce these alarming numbers.
Female condoms have been around for twenty years, yet most women don’t use them, for various reasons. New woman-initiated technologies such as microbicides will not be available for some years, but female condoms exist here and now, and studies have shown that users find them highly acceptable.
The current situation is that worldwide every year:
215 million couples have an unmet need for contraception; 76 million unintended pregnancies occur; 21 million unsafe abortions take place; 170 million women are infected with STIs; 1.5 million women die of AIDS; 0.5 million women die due to complications during childbirth.
These facts, plus the conviction that the launch and usage of female condoms has lagged behind for twenty years, have inspired UAFC to carry out a large-scale comprehensive initiative, setting up programmes in two selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The UAFC Joint Programme aims to:
- Decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies and, subsequently, decrease the number of maternal deaths (MDG 5);
- Decrease the number of STIs, including HIV (MDG 6)
- Promote gender equality and women empowerment (MDG 3)
UAFC is a consortium of: