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NZ Needs To Get Serious About Protection

Media Information November 2001

NZ Needs To Get Serious About Protection

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day - Saturday 1 December. According to leading condom manufacturer, Ansell, we are armed with the statistics, the knowledge and the facts but we are not arming ourselves with practical protection against AIDS - condoms! Despite the well-publicised danger of AIDS, New Zealand research undertaken by Ansell, reveals the primary reason Kiwis use condoms is pregnancy prevention. The Ansell survey shows that New Zealanders give little thought to using condoms for disease prevention. AIDS prevention fell in behind both STD prevention and pregnancy avoidance.

Avoiding pregnancy was the most common reason for using a condom with 68% of those surveyed listing this as their primary motivator. The risk of contracting an STD was the main concern for only 15%. Using a condom to prevent AIDS recorded only a 7% response. The New Zealand Tracking Survey was conducted by Ansell in June 2001 and targeted people aged between 16-49.

"It is a big concern that disease prevention featured so low in the survey - particularly the threat of AIDS," says Krystyna Scher, Ansell Product Manager.

"On World AIDS Day we would like to highlight that using condoms is the most effective way to prevent the transmission of the disease and STD's. "

"There is still a long way to go to educate New Zealanders that AIDS and STD's can happen to them and are not just diseases that happen to other people. People on alternative contraception, such as the pill, may not be using condoms therefore exposing themselves to the risk of AIDS. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk without the use of condoms."

AIDS experts have raised the chilling proposition that we may be only at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. The results of the Ansell survey suggest that New Zealand, as a nation, still has some way to go in understanding the terrible potential of the AIDS virus.

"Events such as World AIDS Day place the spot light on this epidemic and the international efforts to prevent further transmission, whilst there is an awareness that condoms are the answer New Zealanders need to put this into practice," says Ms Scher.

Ends.

Prepared on behalf of Ansell by Goode Communication Ltd. For further media enquiries please phone Vikki Lee Goode of Goode Communication on (09) 480 9948 or email at vikkilee@goodepr.co.nz

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