Intersexions episode 10: Zoning in on importance of condom usage and medical male circumcision in reducing HIV infection and STIs

In Episode 10, the Intersexions team goes back to the basics of HIV prevention emphasizing condom usage and male circumcision as interventions protecting men and their partners from contracting the virus as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. The theme on dangers of multiple sexual partners from episode 9 is also carried through and highlighted.

Sdumo, the barman whose overtures are spurned by Rosie in episode 3, resurfaces as he journeys back to his rural home in KZN in his 'new' run down Beetle. The return of a boy from the city driving a car creates a buzz in the sleepy village and Sdumo becomes an instant hit with the girls. His heart however is set on his best friend's sister Zola, but she is not interested. At the same time he is too scared to admit to his friends that he is in love with Zola and resorts to creating a fictional girl named Zodwa as the object of his affections. His friends hatch a plan that he must sleep around with other girls so that Zodwa becomes jealous. His polygamist father does not help the situation as he encourages his son to 'test drive' different girls before he makes his final choice.

The plan backfires when Sdumo contracts a sexually transmitted infection (STI) at the same time that Zola has agreed to go on a date with him. This comes as a shock to his friends who assumed city boys were au fait with safe sex.  Apart from the medication he gets at the local clinic he is also given a helpline number for medical male circumcision and advised how going through the procedure will increase his protection against HIV and STIs if used in conjunction with condoms. Sdumo decides to do the responsible thing and informs the girls he has slept with that he is being treated for an STI. Word spreads around the village and Zola finds out. She puts their relationship on hold until Sdumo 'grows up'.

This episode, although light hearted and funny, does not take away from the serious message of avoiding unprotected casual sex, the dangers of multiple partners and the importance of medical male circumcision in reducing STIs and HIV infection.