Hero condoms hit Countdown shelves in fight against HIV

Botswana's HIV infection rate is growing ever year, and one in four people already have the virus.
SUPPLIED/HERO

Botswana's HIV infection rate is growing ever year, and one in four people already have the virus.

Prophylactic prodigy Dustin Leonard is also a finalist in Cleo's Bachelor of the Year competition.
SUPPLIED/HERO

Prophylactic prodigy Dustin Leonard is also a finalist in Cleo's Bachelor of the Year competition.

An Australian company is hoping Kiwis will do their bit to save the world by having sex.

Hero condoms are being rolled out in 97 per cent of Countdown stores up and down the country.

The contraceptive packaging displays the slogan: "Have sex, save a life, save the world."

For every condom sold, the company donates another to a developing country to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Founder Dustin Leonard recently returned from a trip to Botswana, where he distributed a shipping container full of half a million condoms.

The Texas-born entrepreneur's idea, which started as a university assignment, recently scored a home run with distribution deals through Australian supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths.

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"We know Australians are committed to the cause of  'conscious consumerism' and we're excited that our Kiwi cousins share the same passion," Leonard said.

READ MORE: Durex owner barred from buying Johnson & Johnson's K-Y

The 29-year-old said penetrating the New Zealand market was a big achievement, as it was Hero's first international experience.

"Our mission was to grow steadily across Australia, which we've been doing this year, but we've been blown away by interest from overseas."

Once New Zealanders started coming on board, Leonard expected the number of donated condoms to blow up to two million a year.

Countdown's general manager of merchandise Chris Fisher said the company was proud to be the first New Zealand supermarket to stock the condoms.

"We are also proud to support a company that is socially responsible and making a real difference in developing countries," he said.

Hero is likely to face stiff competition from multinational rivals Durex and Ansell, which dominate supermarket and dairy shelves.

Earlier this year, the Commerce Commission threw a bucket of cold water on a proposed liaison between Durex and lubricant brand K-Y.

The merger deal slipped away after the watchdog said it was not satisfied it would not reduce competition.

 - Stuff

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