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NETWORK. 1991 Jun; 12(1):17-20.Social marketing of condoms in Zaire began in 1987 and sales rose to 8 million in 1990, a notable change from the previous situation where about half a million condoms were distributed by government health clinics only. Social marketing is the use of for-profit sales and marketing techniques for public health problem.s When the Zaire National AIDS Committee initiated social marketing of condoms, with the assistance of Population Services International, they had the experience of successful Asian programs of the 1970s, and the political sanction resulting from the AIDS threat to back them up. Efforts were made to find just the right product name, "Prudence," logo, package, color and slogan by consumer research. Prudence implies responsible behavior, capturing both the AIDS and STD prevention and the family planning markets. Consumers like the package and associate it with quality, since most condoms sold before in Zaire had no special packaging. Distribution outlets include 7000 retail shops, groceries, pharmacies, hotel, social clubs, 300 bars and even Congo River barges which sex workers frequent. The price was set close to that of a pack of gum for 3, or that of a bottle of beer for a dozen. Promotion is limited by a government ban of advertising in mass media, so point of purchase materials, special offers and promotional items are being used. Prudence condoms are now being marketed in Cameroon and Burundi.