Over the weekend, in an op-ed column entitled “Birth Control Over Baldness”, award-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof described a “high-tech revolution” in family planning “that will affect more people in a more intimate way than almost any other technological stride”. He argued for more funding towards contraception (“if only family planning were treated as seriously as baldness!”) and lamented the plight of the 215 million women with unmet need for contraception worldwide.
Today, I posted a comment response to the piece, reiterating Kristof’s points about unmet need and emphasizing the importance of more effective distribution of contraceptives—particularly female and male condoms—based on my experience in the field and the testimonies of our partners. My comment is reprinted below.
“One of the most pressing needs in the contraceptive field is development of easier to use, less expensive female condoms that protect against both unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. While waiting for these, we must do far better distributing the female and male condoms we have, especially to young people for whom other contraceptive methods may be less appropriate.”
I continue: “Our partners in Africa and Latin America see very high demand– and desperately inadequate supply.”
For more on female condoms, please visit http://blog.iwhc.org/fc, where you can view our video “Female Condoms: Demand and Distribution” and view blog posts and photos on the subject.