Khayelitsha, South Africa
How do you reduce the incidence of HIV in South Africa, where the national adult prevalence rate stands at a staggering 21.5 percent? After two decades of frustrating setbacks for so many government bodies and organizations, DKT-South Africa decided to try a completely new approach. Operating in the Western Cape Province among Xhosa-speaking people, DKT-South Africa uses local field workers in a door-to-door approach to get families to discuss sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. As a result of this initiative, there has been an increase in the number of people disclosing their HIV status and seeking help regarding HIV/AIDS and family planning. Since the program began in 2009, field workers have interviewed over 100,000 people in Khayelitsha Township, and the project is becoming increasingly popular as it grows.
Promoting family planning in Egypt involves more than the sale of contraceptives – it involves training health professionals too. Recently, DKT-Egypt conducted a training session at a rural hospital on IUD insertion and removal. Thirty-five physicians attended, including the Head of the Ob/Gyn Department. DKT also partnered with CARE International to sponsor a training module on Sexually Transmitted Infections to physicians and nurses. These workshops provide an opportunity to showcase family planning products, such as DKT’s Fiesta condoms, along with three-month injectables and IUD brands. In 2010, DKT-Egypt has sold over 70,000 IUDs and one million condoms.
Sex and politics are colliding in Indonesia around 29-year-old actress Julia Perez, who promotes DKT’s own brand of Sutra condoms. Although she has aroused the ire of religious and political conservatives in this Muslim country for her skimpy outfits and views on family planning, Perez is adamant about the need for Indonesians to talk frankly about condoms. When Perez advertises Sutra condoms, she says that people tell her, “Julia, you agree about free sex.” Perez responds, “No, I don’t agree about that. But if you don’t want to get sick, if you don’t want HIV, if you don’t want to have more kids, you use condoms.” Despite or because of the controversy over Perez, DKT-Indonesia’s condom sales campaign is having a banner year.
DKT has made affordable contraceptives widely available in the Philippines through over 10,000 outlets called PopShops. These franchises sell family planning products to consumers, often in rural and hard-to-reach areas. In Bukidnon Province, Minanao Region, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Josefa Arlita Alsula was so impressed with the PopShop that she convinced the Chief Executive to set up six in her municipality. She liked the fact that PopShops made contraceptives available “at reasonable prices…following the cost-recovery scheme” of the franchise model. In 2009, DKT-Philippines PopShops contributed significantly to the Philippine program’s sales, which included over 20 million condoms, 21 million oral contraceptives, and over 100,000 IUDs.
DKT-Mumbai recently began airing five commercials for medical abortion on the Indian government’s nationwide Doordarshan channel and on the Zee TV cable network in India. The spots can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/dktindiakare. Both mifepristone and misoprostol – the most effective drug combination for medical abortion – are available in India, but women are not well-informed about the drugs. DKT India sells a combination kit containing one tablet of mifepristone and four tablets of misoprostol which helps assure correct dosage. DKT has sold over 200,000 of the combined kits this year. Believed to be the first television advertisements for medical abortion anywhere, the commercials highlight the safety and effectiveness of medical abortion for young urban and rural women.