Supporting Lubricant Access in Africa

April 30, 2013

IRMA, amfAR and AVAC are delighted to announce that IRMA Nigeria, in partnership with the International Center for Advocacy on the Right to Health, Stop AIDS in Liberia (SAIL), and an organization in Zambia (which requested to remain anonymous), have been awarded Global Lube Access Mobilisation (GLAM) funding to campaign for access to safe, condom-compatible lubricants in their communities.

Throughout the world, and especially in Africa, safe, condom-compatible lubricant (water- and silicone-based) is inaccessible for most people who engage in anal intercourse. It is also inaccessible for women who engage in vaginal intercourse. A number of analyses in various settings indicate that the use of oil-based products is the most common form of lubrication and is known to significantly reduce condom effectiveness. Faced with the lack of condom-compatible lubricants, people often resort to such products as body lotion, soap, cooking oil, spit, pre-cum, antibiotic creams and even motor oil to provide lubrication during anal intercourse. This lack of appropriate lubricant products for people who practice anal and vaginal intercourse is unacceptable when we know that they can keep condoms from breaking and slipping.

In December 2012, IRMA, amfAR, and AVAC launched The GLAM Toolkit – Advocacy to improve access to safe, condom-compatible lubricant in Africa, Version 1.0. The Toolkit offers tools and ideas for civil society and government partners to secure affordable and sustainable condom-compatible lubricant. Tools include a fact sheet, case studies, the results of a review of African National and Strategic Plans on HIV/AIDS and a list of proposed advocacy activities.

After the Toolkit launch, the group released a request for proposals targeted to community advocates and organizations in Africa interested in improving lube access. Eighteen proposals were submitted from 11 African countries. IRMA Nigeria, SAIL and a Zambian organization received the highest scores in a thorough evaluation process and began their lube access advocacy projects this month. These include speaking with sex workers about lube’s importance, working to increase public awareness and reduce stigma, disseminating the GLAM Toolkit and much more.

To learn more about GLAM, click here, and download The GLAM Toolkit here.