To order a copy of PROTECTION from sub Saharan African countries (PAL format), please please contact Fireworx Media in Johannesburg.

To order the DVD or access streaming of the film from other parts of the world, contact the Media Education Foundation (MEF) at The DVD is available in PAL format and NTSC formats and can also be accessed for streaming directly. General info about the film and gender-focused HIV prevention capacity building: Jill Lewis at

Condom Film


The idea for PROTECTION surfaced from dialogues with women and men in a range of sub-Saharan African countries.

Jill Lewis, the film’s executive producer, had run workshops on gender-focused HIV awareness and participative pedagogy with many of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Education Programmes in Africa. The workshops aimed to strengthen people’s capacity to build more effective HIV-prevention initiatives.

As men discussed HIV, listening, arguing and asking questions about the virus, its transmission and prevention, it was evident everywhere that there is an urgent need to help boys and men understand better and avoid HIV infection.

Participants at times expressed virulent opposition to condoms, often from faith-based perspectives, arguing that condoms were a tool for forbidden promiscuity. However, even with Christian and Muslim participants, the workshops time and again revealed that most participants knew men who had had sex before or outside of marriage, and many knew women who had as well. It was not a question of ‘promiscuity’, but of the many and diverse social, economic, gender and cultural realities within which sexual relations take place.

In the context of the realities of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, what is to be done to strengthen prevention of the spread of HIV?

Anti-retroviral drugs present the possibility of lowering infectiousness, but they don’t guarantee the prevention of transmission. Many don’t know they have HIV, so aren’t on the medication. Many still lack access to ARVs…

Circumcision lowers men’s chances of being infected with the virus, but it does not guarantee their safety from HIV and certainly does not provide protection for their partners…

Care, counselling and support are invaluable, but these are generally available only after risks have been taken and testing has revealed infection…

Remaining faithful to one partner is an important step some people can take to protect themselves, but it does not protect them from their partners’ sexual histories or current, unknown realities of their partner. And life can change in unexpected ways…

Fidelity can protect the heart and mind – but, while a broken heart can mend, HIV, once there, can’t be removed from the body.

Condoms offer the only way to engage in penetrative sex with minimised risk of HIV transmission. This means that they have to play a central role in HIV prevention strategies. 

Standard condom messaging does not always equip boys and men to normalise condom use in their sex lives, nor to use condoms correctly and confidently. There is a huge need to open wider discussion about condoms, going beyond the silences, myths, hesitations and stereotypes that circulate so widely.

PROTECTION aims to get people thinking and talking about condoms in different contexts. It provocatively and movingly lays the ground for more thoughtful discussions about condom use in light of the continuing HIV and AIDS challenge.

The film crew worked hard to avoid a didactic or lecturing format, instead taking a hybrid approach, combining a fixed ‘issue’ format with the more fluid and creative documentary form.

PROTECTION will stir thirst for better information, provoke thought and help open communication about condoms among the men and boys with whom your organisation engages.


Welcome to our site!

PROTECTION is a challenging and moving new film resource to provoke discussions among men about condoms as a ‘tool of life’ for avoiding HIV and managing a safe sexual life if HIV-positive.

The website tells you about the film, how to get hold of the DVD, and also provides important information and educational resources about HIV and condom use.



PROTECTION: A film about men and condoms in the time of HIV and AIDS; a resource to stir discussion about the significance of condoms in your ongoing HIV-prevention initiatives.