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Health Policy Plan. 2003 Sep;18(3):299-305.

Equity in access to condoms in urban Zambia.

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  • 1Department of International Health and Development, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA.



This article examines the degree of equity in access to condoms in urban Zambia.


This study uses data from representative samples of a). men and women in households in urban Zambia and b). providers at retail outlets in urban Zambia.


A substantial proportion of outlets in urban Zambia (39%) stocked social marketing condoms in 1999. More than 30% of groceries and kiosks - outlets commonly found in low-income residential areas - stocked social marketing condoms. Consumer access to condoms (defined as estimated walking time to a condom source) was greater for poorer compared to wealthier respondents: compared to men with 7-13 assets (wealthier men), men with 2-6 assets were 1.5 times as likely and men with up to one asset were 1.8 times as likely to be within 10 minutes walk of a condom source. Multivariate analysis indicated that greater access to condoms among the poor was a function of greater condom availability in poorer neighbourhoods.


Making condoms available in non-traditional outlet types that are commonly found in low-income areas (such as kiosks and groceries) can eliminate socioeconomic inequities in condom access.

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