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

Sierra Leone

Amara Conteh is an admired, upcoming football player with a desirable reputation, living in the harsh conditions of a poorer side of the city. Washing taxis and hanging out with car mechanics, he holds out dreams for football stardom. b b v– and is opposed to condoms and doesn’t use them.

Talk among his football pals highlights the bravado, myths, disbelief and cynicism in circulation among young men – as well as contradictory beliefs and co-existing hopes. Amara boasts of rejecting condoms as handicaps to sex, and the guys laugh about the ‘flesh-to-flesh’ preference of real men. This provocative scene highlights commonly held, and misinformed, views about HIV and condoms that boys frequently repeat in banter – views that reinforce their risk of HIV infection.

But away from the guys, we see Amara’s inner grief and vulnerability as he recalls his mother dying after being chased by rebels, and the loss of joy in his life. We see him navigating uncertainty, seeking affection, going to the mosque with his father.

Amara takes advice from his HIV-aware, pro-condoms Muslim father, a chief and former seaman now living in post-war unemployment and poverty. Amara’s father loves his son and holds him in great respect, urging him to stay safe and find a way out of their situation. Amara seems to be looking for a more committed relationship and to heed his father’s advice.

Interwoven with Amara’s story is that of Teeleema Smart, who lives on the other side of the city. Teeleema’s parents have survived the war with resilience and a strong commitment to education – both professionals, they are acutely aware of the reality of HIV. With a father active in sexual health promotion and a tough, highly qualified mother, Teeleema weathers strict parental pressure to keep him on track for the possibilities education alone can offer. His parents are acutely aware of the odds against the youth in the aftermath of war; of the complicated fall-out of sexual exploitation.

Caught in familiar teenage resistance to strict parental supervision and his mother’s discipline, Teeleema reflects on a young love connection he secretly and rebelliously enjoys – but he clearly sees the dangers of HIV and the love behind his parents’ efforts to ensure he is well educated and safe.

This section highlights the realities young people face – the tension between the love, advice and admonitions of parents and the pulls of the world outside of parental control. It highlights the particular challenges confronting young people and their vulnerabilities in conditions following conflict, loss and impoverishment.


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.