The Department of Health wants to spice up your sex life. Starting this month, it will spend R3,5 billion over the next three years on coloured and flavoured condoms.

Three billion male condoms, 54 million female condoms and 60 million sachets of lubricant will be handed out for free at more than 4 000 sites countrywide.

This new initiative is one of the many ways in which government is trying to promote safe sex among sexually active South Africans.

“We know that condoms are one of the surest ways of preventing sexual transmission of HIV (apart from abstaining from sex),” Dr Yogan Pillay, a deputy director-general at the national Department of Health told The Star. “Hence the big push to ensure the department makes condoms freely available to the public.”

These condoms will be available in either banana, grape, strawberry or vanilla scents.

“We were informed that colours and scented condoms would be more appealing. Hence the decision to put out a tender for coloured and scented male condoms,” Pillay told the paper.

The project was piloted in Soweto in March – with a number of grape-coloured and scented condoms being launched in areas frequented by young adults, such as colleges and universities. The rest of the scents and colours will be launched over the coming months.

Earlier this year, in a bid to further promote safe sex, the Department of Basic Education proposed a policy that would allow for the distribution of condoms at primary schools, but no action has yet been taken.