A TV advertisement in Kenya in which a woman in an extra-marital affair is advised to use condoms has been taken off air after an outcry by religious leaders who said the advert encouraged infidelity, rather than promote safe sex to curb HIV/AIDS and it also depicts Kenya as Sodom and Gomorra.
"It openly propagates immorality at the expense of the institution of marriage and family," Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa told Kenya's Business Daily newspaper.
On the other hand, health official Peter Cherutich said that while the advert had been withdrawn, he was certain about its message - that it was essential for people to use condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, knowing that 1.6 million people out of Kenya’s population of 41.6 milion are living with HIV and up to 30% of married couples had other partners on the side sometimes. The advert was part of a series of anti-HIV campaigns that health officials have been running in Kenya for years and it was sponsored by Kenya's health ministry, USAid and UKAid.
The BBC's Anne Soy in Nairobi says opinions of Kenyans about the advert are varied. Some of them supported religious leaders in opposing the advert and some showed their respect for talking openly about the reality that is HIV/AIDS.
I want to quote the woman, interviewed by Anne Soy on the street, who shared her opinion on what is actually controversial in this advert:
"A fact that a mother figure has been used matters to us, because mothers are the people who stand for families and the ones who teach children the good morals that they should have within and outside the community.“
Watch the advert and a short BBC reportage here: