66% FIRST-TIMERS OPT FOR CONDOMS: DAILY DISPATCH

VIRGINS getting active are starting to use condoms for that first, mostly disappointing, big moment.

A national survey shows that 66% of sex firsttimers used protection last year, up dramatically from only 18% who used a condom in 1992, in the early days of the HIV/Aids pandemic.

However, Eastern Cape health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo had the following advice for young people: “Do not only use a condom for round one. You have to go the full 12 rounds [in life]. You must not be knocked out in the early rounds.”

He said government welcomed the new trend, but still wanted to tell everyone: “Be safe and condomise. If you are going to engage in sexual activity, please use condoms every time.”

The South African Institute of Race Relations reported this month: “Condom use at first sex is becoming the norm in South Africa.”

This was according to the National HIV Communications Survey published in July last year.

The institute noted that people who used condoms for their first encounter were more likely to use them throughout their lives. DA provincial health spokesman and MPL John Cupido said: “That is positive news! It means that HIV education and campaigns are making a difference.” — mikel@dispatch.co.za