Singh, regional marketing manager, PSI, left, Salorne Mc
Donald, centre, regional behaviour, change communications
manager, and Adrian Raymond, marketing communications manager,
pose with some of the posters addressing HIV/Aids-awareness
issues in front of the head office of the Population Services
International (PSI) Caribbean division, Henry Pierre Street,
Woodbrook, on April 21. Photo: Wendy Ann Duncan
Half of the free condoms that are given out in public are
they are given out free, they would think it is inferior,said
Kerry Singh, regional marketing manager of Population Services
International (PSI). But if they pay their hard-earned
money for it, they would have no other choice but to make
the best use of it, Singh continued.Speaking in an
interview on April 19, Singh said PSIs strategy was
mainly aimed at a new approach to the marketing and distribution
of condoms in the Caribbean.
But how do you get peopleespecially womento
Heidi Mitchell* vows that she would never again purchase
condomsshe finds it humiliating.
I dont have any in stock, he better have, cause I
am not going out to get any, the Curepe resident said
in an interview on April 21.
just wouldnt get none (sex), she reasoned.
Mitchell said she found that going out to purchase condoms
was a womans worst nightmare.
look at you like youre committing a crime or something.
I have had too many bitter experiences already, the
Women like Mitchell could now breathe a sign of relief,
as the Society for Family Health, in collaboration with
(PSI) have come up with a campaign to deal with the stigmatisation
they face when coming to the purchasing of condoms.
PSI, which has been in existence for the past 50 years,
is an international non-profit marketing organisation with
operations in over 70 countries around the world.
The organisation, which works closely with the National
Aids Programme and other non- governmental organisations,
aims to promote the broad access to the purchase and use
of condoms by increasing their availability and accessibility.PSI
has begun to air mass media advertisements with strong messages
behind them. Its goal is for more and more young people
to think twice about unprotected sex and use the condoms
for their own safety.
This explains the campaigns eye-catching slogan, Got
it? Get it.
The slogan is outlined by an outer circle depicting a condom.
used the colours yellow and black, which are symbolic of
caution, Singh said.
PSIs message is similar to other HIV/Aids awareness
campaigns, such as the National Aids Co-ordinating Committee,
Ministry of Healths National Aids Programme Rapport
youth drop-in centre and YMCAs Whats Your Position?
and catchyalphabetical slogan: Abstain, Be Faithful and
On April 11 PSI launched its regional multi-media HIV/Aids-prevention
campaign, targeted at youths aged 16-24 years old, at the
Bois Cano Terrace at Kapok Hotel, Maraval.
Singh said the campaigns approach was to achieve behaviour
change among its target populations through mass media (print
and electronic), event promotion and distributor partnerships,
among other tactics.
He added that the campaign had produced three advertisements,
which were made in Jamaica. They are now being aired on
local TV. One shows a woman skulking while buying condoms
in a store; another shows a man getting a condom from a
Singh said the campaign was specifically geared at lowering
the barriers to consistent condom use.He added that an equally
important component of the project was identifying non-traditional
(non-pharmacy) distribution points, such as barbershops,
hairdressing salons, bars and clubs, to carry condoms in
order to support the campaigns stance.
are aware that there are a lot of people who are still having
problems with purchasing condoms at pharmacies.
thats why we want to make condoms readily available
to people at their convenience, he said.
Singh, who explained that the organisation would not be
directly distributing condoms to the public, said that they
would be working closely with other non-governmental organisations
in order to achieve this goal.
have joined forces with the NGOs in the other countries
and with the Kondom Krew here in Trinidad to assist in the
distributing of condoms when they go on their condom drives,
Singh said the campaign was now seeking endorsement from
Caribbean reggae, hip hop and soca stars to assist in promoting
the logo through radio and television ads.
The campaign uses trendy and upbeat promotional items to
crave the attention of the youths.
Among these are reader-friendly posters, youthfully-styled
printed T-shirts, dog tags and wrist bands.
purpose is to have the youths align themselves to the cause
and not just wear the promotional items as a fashion statement.
must wear it and mean it, he added.
The ultimate goal is to get everyone to be like Tricia Burnette,
of Barataria, who takes pleasure in making condom purchases.
It makes her feel liberated.
a great feeling when you can walk into a drugstore as a
woman and call for a pack of condoms.
get to chose your own brand, colour and even flavour,
the mother of two explained during an interview at her office
once have I ever felt ashamed, Burnette said.
She added that she had no intention of getting pregnant
again, nor contracting an virus, and, as such, was bent
on protecting herself.
no longer wait on a man to walk with his rubbers, I am always
well stocked up, she said, with a chuckle.
* Names changed to protect subjects identity.