A Lagos high court has ruled that total abstinence or faithfulness should be noted on condom advertisements as the best options because the protective rubber is not 100 percent effective.
According to THISDAY, the ruling was issued by Justice Taofiquat Oyekan-Abdullahi following a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of the Project for Human Development (PHD) against the Society for Family Health (SFH).
Oyekan-Abdullahi also ordered that condom advertisements should be aired between 6am and 8pm on radio and between 6pm and 10pm on television. PHD had through its counsel, Sonnie Ekwowusi, asked the court to declare that the advertisement of the ‘Gold Circle’ condom by SFH without the health risk warning clause of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is illegal and unconstitutional.
The warning clause states that condom “is not 100 percent safe but total abstinence or faithfulness is the best option”. The applicant said condoms advertisement in Nigeria give the misleading impression that they are 100 percent safe.
According to the applicant, saying condoms offer “maximum protection” and “protects you against infections” is false. “Condoms, in addition to having possible manufacturing defects, could undergo deterioration during shipping, handling and storage, and even further degradation after purchase by the end user,” the applicant argued. “To a greater or lesser degree, factors such as the following have been proposed as possibly contributing to the degradation of latex (and thus to condom failure): exposure to sunlight, heat (including body heat when placed in pockets or wallets), humidity, pressure, certain spermicides and even to atmospheric ozone (2). “Besides, the condom may still suffer last-minute physical damage immediately prior to or during actual use, such as contact with pointed or sharp objects including fingernails and rings. “From the above documented facts, it is very clear that the AIDS virus can pass through the latex membrane and it has also scientifically been proven that the AIDS virus does pass through the latex membrane.”
After the ruling, the applicant said: “With this judgement of the Lagos state high court, anybody putting a blind faith on condoms is taking a big risk. “If condoms have naturally-occurring could undergo deterioration during shipping, handling and storage as well as slip off the penis or the vagina during sexual intercourse, why the self-conceited reliance on condoms?”