Yes, the sale of flowers, chocolates and cards goes up during valentine’s week, but a New Era Weekend survey found that the sale of condoms, sexual stimulants and the morning after pill also increases on Valentine’s Day and the day thereafter.
“There was quite a significant rise in the morning after pill (emergency contraceptive). There was also a lot of condom sales,” said Andre Bergh, a pharmacist at Victoria pharmacy.
An assistant pharmacist at Victoria pharmacy, Hermanus Khachab added: “Valentine’s day has an influence on the sale of condoms, morning after pill and sexual stimulants”.
Khachab further added that normally these products sell fast during weekends, when people have more leisure time.
However “for condoms and sexual stimulants, sales went up. Sunday is the busiest day but Valentine’s Day was one of the biggest sales on those products as well as the day after for the emergency contraceptive,” said Khachab.
Although both men and women are spotted buying contraceptives such as condoms and the emergency pill, it is mostly men who buy these products.
“Most ladies are scared and they send their boyfriends to buy morning after pills and condoms, but there are certain things that we want to ask the lady, like when last she had her periods and the best form of contraceptive that she can use,” said Khachab. He added that emergency contraception is an effective option for preventing pregnancy after engaging in unprotected sex.
“It isn’t recommended for routine use. Also, the morning after pill can fail even with correct use and it offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections,” added Khachab.
Furthermore, he said the sale of HIV testing kits also rose on Valentine’s Day. “Normally we sell about 10 a day but yesterday we sold more,” said Khachab. He added that generally sexual stimulants also sell like hot cakes.
“If you visit our pharmacy on a Friday you will observe that every third customer is requesting that (sexual stimulant),” Khachab added.
Khachab also expressed concern that many people are “reckless” with sexual health. “People think its fine to have unprotected sex especially if they test themselves for HIV and find that they are negative. They may be in the window period without even knowing it. I suggest people should get tested at health facilities where they can get counseling on how to behave even when they are negative,” said Khachab.
When asked on the sale of contraceptives and sexual stimulants at Medisun pharmacy, Wallace Endley, a cashier at that pharmacy said “it was surprisingly low”.
On Valentine’s Day there were not many morning after pills that sold except for the daily average which is three. There was a slight rise in condom sales but that was slightly low because it was on average two more than usual”.
He added that there was no sale of sexual stimulants. “But that is because we don’t really have sale (special) for those products,” added Endley.
He further said that condoms and morning after pills sell more on weekends. “There are more people who spend time on leisure things,” replied Endley. Tryphina Sililo, a cashier at Langerhans pharmacy commented that contraceptives and sexual stimulants do sell slightly more on Valentine’s Day. “They sell more because people are spending time together,” added Sililo.