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Fight towards AIDS is diminished after condom recall in South Africa

By Ryan Prescher

The South African government is recalling 20 million condoms from the company Zalatex after condoms failed a bursting test, the MSNBC.com article “Millions of condoms recalled in South Africa? by the Associated Press, said. According to the article, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday that the recall involves condoms that are distributed free by the government. This comes after a wave of scandals involving condom durability. The Zalatex company bribed an official of the South African Bureau of Standards to approve defective condoms, which prompted the initial recall back in August. Only 12 million have been recovered since. This diminishes the AIDS fighting effort in South Africa, which has the largest AIDS population in the world, the article said. There are more than 5.5 million AIDS victims and 900 people die everyday due to AIDS in South Africa, the article reported. Currently, the government canceled several contracts with condom manufacturers due to poor quality and scandals.

The MSNBC.com article, although provided by the AP, does a great job in reporting this news out of Africa. The article only contains one source, which is the Health Ministry. Much of the information that is within the story is attributed to a statement that was made on Tuesday about the issue. There could have been more sources, such as comments from the manufacturing companies, officials within the government, etc. Overall, the article presents the most pertinent information and provides readers with background information of what took place in August towards the end of the article.

Another source that included a report on this same issue was found at CNN.com. The article “Condom recall hits South African AIDS campaign? also provided by the AP, contained the exact information, word for word. The CNN.com article also only contained one source. The only addition to the story were two hyperlinks. CNN included hyperlinks for “South Africa? and “AIDS? , which provided additional information on separate pages about these two topics. The CNN article also contained a picture where the MSNBC article did not. Otherwise, both articles are very similar.

Considering the recall was first back in August, it is strange that these news sources are just reporting on it now. Granted, the Health Ministry made an announcement on Tuesday, but the recall has been ongoing for the last two months. Why is this story important now? The effect and disruption in the fight against AIDS was no different two months ago than it is now.