Shower time!

The only thing better than televised condom advertisements? Televised condom advertisements with some political humor thrown in.

Pronto Condoms are the project of a South African inventor, Willem van Rensburg, who decided that one of the major problems with encouraging condom use in South Africa was ease of use. The Pronto Condom combines the steps of opening the condom package and putting on the condom into a single, quick step – it’s quite impressive, though hard to know whether shortening a process from a few seconds to a second or two will increase condom usage.

To demonstrate the new technology, the Pronto website offers a pair of videos – I don’t know if they’re getting aired on South African TV, but I sincerely hope so. The first features a man sitting behind a desk – we see only his torso. He introduces himself as “Jacob” and says, “People think I don’t use the condom. As a matter of fact, I do. I’m just so superquick.” He quickly puts the condom on the plastic cylinder on the desk and declares, “Shower time!”

If you follow South African politics, you’re chuckling already. (Or you’re pissed off. Or both.) For those who don’t – Jacob Zuma is the former deputy president of South Africa and a powerful figure in the ANC, the governing party in the country. Some speculate that he’s a likely successor to Thabo Mbeki – that may be complicated by court cases he’s been involved with involving fraud and accusations of rape in December 2005. Zuma was found not guilty of rape, but during the trial, he admitted that he knew the woman he had sex with (Zuma claims the sex was consensual) was HIV positive, and that he didn’t wear a condom – instead, he took a shower after sex to reduce his chances of catching HIV. One might have thought that Zuma would be more knowledgable about HIV transmission, given that he headed the National AIDS Council at the time…

(I know that having to explain a joke means that it’s no longer funny. But I felt like the ad just needed to be shared…)

Tip of the hat to FP Passport for pointing to the Pronto website.

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