Wrap It Up As Global Condom Shortage Looms

CBx Vibe:Let’s Talk About Sex” Salt-N-Pepa

By Javon Cogdell

  • The maker of Durex, Karex Bhd has a shortfall of 100 million condoms
  • African Americans are more likely than other ethnic groups to use condoms

A global shortage of condoms is looming after the coronavirus lockdown forced the world’s biggest producer to shut down production. The manufacturer of Durex, Karex Bhd which makes one in every five condoms globally, is only operating its factory at 50% capacity. African Americans are more likely than other ethnic groups to use condoms, so with the entire country in some form of lock down have they been left to engage in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex?

Why This Matters: Condoms could get much more expensive, which isn’t good news especially for younger people. Currently, a basic 42-count box of Durex costs around $15. Indiana University’s National Sex Study found that condom use rates among Black teenagers were the highest of any demographic at 92% for males and 100% for females the last time they engaged in sex. However, the research also revealed that Blacks don’t engage in riskier behavior than other demographic groups, which is good news.

The manufacturer of Durex, Karex Bhd is only operating its factory at 50% capacity

The prospect of a condom shortage is frightening to health experts and executives of the company, especially because the World Health Organization considers condoms an essential item. Durex’s parent company claims the global lockdown has already caused a shortfall of 100 million condoms. Malaysia’s Karex Bhd stockpile is set to last for just another two months because it churns out more than 5 billion condoms a year. The company supplies about 140 countries around the world and the shortage could have multiple and lasting effects.

Situational Awareness: A delay in waiting for condoms could mean increased rates of unplanned pregnancy and STI transmission across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in vulnerable countries like Africa. “We are going to see a global shortage of condoms everywhere, which is going to be scary. My concern is that for a lot of humanitarian programs … in Africa, the shortage will not just be two weeks or a month. That shortage can run into months,” Karex Bhd CEO Goh Miah Kiat told the Guardian.

CBx Vibe:Let’s Talk About Sex” Salt-N-Pepa

CONTRIBUTOR

Javon Dimitri

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