Geospatial analysis of condom availability and accessibility in urban Malawi

Enbal Shacham, Rebecca Thornton, Susan Godlonton, Ryan Murphy, Jake Gilliland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prevalence of HIV in sub-Saharan African countries persists at alarming rates. There are currently four promoted methods to prevent HIV infection: adherence to antiretroviral therapy, male circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis and use of condoms. This study aimed to assess the availability and accessibility of one of the prevention efforts, condoms, in Kawale, Lilongwe, Malawi. A total of 220 potential condom-selling establishments were surveyed in 2012. Data were collected with store owners or staff and locations were geocoded to assess store density. Descriptive analyses were conducted. Of those audited, 96 stores sold condoms, 13 of which distributed free condoms. The stores were most often small shops and located in markets or trading centres. Condoms were most often found at the back of the store in an open space. There were approximately 1.2 stores per ¼ mile; 44% of the businesses in the study region carried condoms. This one method of prevention exhibited multiple barriers in this region: few stores sold condoms, high costs, condom locations within stores and limited availability. The limited accessibility is likely to influence social norms surrounding condom use. Future research should incorporate assessing norms and addressing barriers to uptake of HIV prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Condom
  • STD/STI prevention
  • accessibility and availability
  • geographic disparities
  • geospatial analysis
  • sexually transmitted infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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