A Lesson for the U.S. during Condom Awareness Month
WASHINGTON – DKT International is proud to release its 2013 annual impact data for family planning and HIV prevention among its 21 programs in 19 countries worldwide. In 2013, 23 million couples were served; 8.3 million unwanted pregnancies were prevented. 12,364 maternal deaths and 1.8 million abortions were averted.
“Valentine’s Day is a time to focus on romance. And there is no better way to say ‘I care’ than to use condoms and family planning so that romance has a healthy future,” says Christopher Purdy, President and CEO of DKT International. “Fortunately, the U.S. adopted National Condom Month, reminding us that one of the easiest ways to blend romance with reality is to use a condom. The U.S. still has the highest rates of STDs in the industrialized world, costing our healthcare system about $16 billion every year. If the numbers are daunting in the U.S., where information and healthcare resources are readily available, the less developed world faces even greater challenges, and that’s where we’re making a big difference. The U.S. might consider adopting some of the
social marketing tactics that have proven so successful for DKT International.”
In 2013, DKT International provided more than 458 million condoms – or more than 50,000 condoms per hour, in the developing countries we serve. DKT makes condoms widely available and easily affordable, and encourages their use through social marketing on any channel that reaches potential condom users, including the Internet, at concerts, on outdoor billboards, and at festivals. Purdy adds, “We will use any media through which we can reach the right audience with a resonating message.”
- DKT Ethiopia continued to broaden its reach into rural areas of Ethiopia. Faced with geographical challenges, misconceptions and myths, DKT Ethiopia fielded 15 teams to educate women about family planning and the use of condoms to prevent HIV. Focusing on 1,000+ market towns, DKT’s teams give women counseling, lead group discussions, and provided referrals to nearby pharmaceutical outlets.
- DKT China made history when during the 2013 China AIDS Walk a giant blue dancing condom named Mojo made its appearance atop the Great Wall. DKT began distribution of MOJO Love Condoms, with close to two million condoms sold in the brand’s first year.
- DKT’s Brazilian brand, Prudence, hit 2013 with the slogan “Quem usa Prudence manda bem” (“Who wears Prudence rocks”). The company’s program to preach the gospel of safe sex in main Brazilian cities included its “Test-a-Condom” program, which achieved tremendous social media success. On World AIDS Day 2013, DKT Brazil went all out with street performances and women wearing QR code stickers in nightclubs. Condom samples and random prizes, including a year’s supply of condoms, were distributed. The online story received 12 million impressions in its first month, with 2.5 million impressions per day. HIV currently affects more than 600,000 Brazilians.
- In Turkey, DKT International has expanded its use of the Internet and social media to help build Fiesta, a premium condom brand, and promote sales and condom use. With a new website, Facebook page, Google AdWords, an enewsletter, viral marketing, banner ads and bloggers, Fiesta achieved strong recognition among the target audience of sexually active young people. Sales reached 4.3 million condoms in the first 18 months. In contrast, Kiss, a far more inexpensive DKT condom, launched at the same time but with no digital campaign, sold 2.6 million, proving the importance of online marketing in today’s emerging markets.
- In India and Indonesia, DKT demonstrated that myths and women’s concerns about IUD use can be successfully overcome. Women have expressed concerns about the effectiveness, cost and size of IUDs – all addressed by DKT’s ad campaign with media analysts estimating that tens of millions of women have seen or heard these messages. Government data shows that the number of IUD users has continued to increase.
DKT’s plans for 2014 include continuing to promote disease prevention and family planning through widespread condom use in all of the countries in which it has a presence.