Low Zambia condom use 'worrying'

The low use of condoms during sexual intercourse in Zambia is very worrying, it has been claimed.

Kapembwa Simbao - the nation's health minister - said his countrymen need to change their behaviour towards contraception if they are to defeat the HIV problem, Post Zambia reports.

The politician highlighted lack of prophylactic use as a factor in the spreading of the disease.

In a speech read for him by Central Province minister Ackimson Banda, Mr Simbao stated: "May I urge the Zambian people not to be ashamed to use a condom if not sure of the partner's status."

He added that the country's government remains committed to ensuring quality health services are provided across the nation and explained the administration is currently providing anti-retroviral drugs free of charge.

A recent report in AIDS and Behaviour found that 19.7 per cent of young Africans have conspiracy theories when it comes to HIV - such as the idea that the disease is a man-made construct - and are therefore less likely to use condoms.