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Defective condoms: Man sues gov’t after contracting HIV

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A man who allegedly contracted HIV and gonorrhea after using defective Life Guard condoms has sued Maristopes Uganda, National Drug Authority-NDA and the government for negligently supplying products that adversely affected the public.

In his application filed before the High Court Division, Joseph Kintu demands that in addition to ordering the mass testing of all life guard condom users, court should order Maristopes to carry an audit to establish the extent of the damage caused to users of the condoms that have been recalled from the market and those still circulating.

Kintu who claims that he bought Life Guard condoms from Shifah Pharmacy in Ibanda district says he was forced to test for sexually transmitted diseases when he started experiencing pain. He also asks court to revoke Maristope’s condom importation and distribution license for failure to conduct the mandatory post-shipment tests on batches 19040205 and 19050105 before supplying them to the public.

In November last year, NDA recalled the said batches after failing the test of freedom from holes which caused widespread outcry prompting the Health Ministry to issue a report on what had transpired. In his petition, Kintu says all this happened after he had tested positive a month ago in October when he started feeling the discomfort.

Being an ardent user of condoms he says, he had kept some packets of the unused condoms which matched the said batch numbers. His skepticism would later be approved when some of the condoms on sale were recovered from Shifah Pharmacy where he had bought the condoms.

His earlier HIV tests conducted in June and September had all come out negative. He now wants government held accountable for the whole mess for alleged failure to take effective measures to prevent HIV transmission which amounts to violation of the right to life and health.

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