Preston-Whyte, 1994). It will be important to address these concerns when designing socially and politically acceptable programs targeted at adolescents.
Concerns over the safety of condoms, particularly for women, surfaced in study after study (Irwin et al., 1991; Lindan et al., 1991; Kisekka, no date; Hogsborg and Aaby, 1992; Konde-Lule, 1993). In focus groups, people frequently tell the story of a friend or local woman known to have died because of a wayward condom. The WHO/GPA surveys showed that a high proportion of people who had used condoms still believed they could "climb up into the womb or stomach." In Côte d'Ivoire, for instance, 61 percent of condom users believed this myth, while in Togo the figure was 46 percent (Mehryar, 1995). Orubuloye et al. (1991:71) report that in Ekiti district in Nigeria, "many believe they [condoms] are as dangerous as AIDS."
Erroneous health concerns aside, the social stress on fertility and the consequent quest for pregnancy can be important in determining women's propensity to disdain condoms. In areas where STDs are common, women may have to choose between not using condoms and exposing themselves to STDs (and