Condom A Capella Ringtone Fights HIV In India

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The BBC World Service Trust has begun an unusual, new campaign to help prevent the transmission of HIV in India. It's a ringtone — for your cell phone. It features the word "condom" repeated over and over in a catchy, a capella arrangement.


And now a very different technology story for you. It's about a new public-health campaign in India, a campaign that's using technology to prevent the transmission of HIV, or at least to remind people how they might prevent the transmission of HIV. It's this.

(Soundbite of ringtone)

Unidentified Men: (Singing) Condom.

SIEGEL: That's right, the word is condom. It's a ringtone for your cell phone. It's a catchy a capella arrangement of the word that just repeats it over and over and over.

(Soundbite of ringtone)

Unidentified People: (Singing) Condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom…

SIEGEL: The ringtone campaign is the brainchild of the BBC World Service Trust and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. India has 2.5 million people living with HIV. In less than a month, according to the campaign's organizers, the condom song has been downloaded more than 60,000 times. That's .02 percent of the cell phone-owning population of India.

(Soundbite of ringtone)

Unidentified People: (Singing) Condom, condom, condom, condom…

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from