NIGERIA: To mark 2022 International Condom Day (ICD), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has stated that using a condom is the most, easy, effective, and affordable means of preventing any form of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.
This was made known by AHF Country Programme Director, Dr. Echey Ijezie in Abuja during a program to mark this year’s ICD.
Ijezie further stated that to continue backing government condom policy, Nigerians must get required access to affordable condoms, as such AHF has distributed about 20 million free condoms to the Nigerians in recent years.
Use of condoms to prevent STIs, HIV
The gesture will go a long way in preventing unwanted pregnancies, reducing contracting of STI and HIV among other diseases.
However, AHF in partnership with Cross Rivers State Government through the state Ministry of Health, carry out the campaign as part of activities of the event, to create awareness and also educate the populace about the significant usage of condoms and distribute free condoms to Nigerians and providing free HIV and other sexually transmitted related disease tests to the people.
AHF in collaboration with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) is organizing a sensitization campaign on Valentine’s Day which will also include sharing condoms and HIV tests for the interested individuals.
Ijezie added that AHF which has its presence in 45 different countries will continue to invest heavily in people’s health through information sharing about the danger of not using condoms and also the danger associated with STIs.
With “Safer is Sexy” and “Always in Fashion” AHF is ready to host different programs in different aspects to help in informing the general public on what they need to know about HIV, AIDS, and STI.
“In Abuja, AHF Nigeria Girls Act members shall be reaching their peers with condom education and tips on safer sex practices. Across other AHF Nigeria states of Benue, Kogi, Anambra, Nasarawa, and Akwa Ibom, our teams shall be conducting free HIV testing and giving out free condoms to the people,” Ijezie said.
Ijezie also noted that people must learn to do away with the stigmatization of people affected by HIV, AIDS, and other STIs. As if this is critically done, there will be a drastic reduction in the spread of STIs and people will enjoy safer sex.
AHF’s Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy, Terri Ford advises that if condom emojis are created all across the social media and digital medium, it will help in the fight against the reduction of the spread of STIs in our society.
Ford added that general language must be adopted while carrying out the campaign as it will enable people to understand the message passing to them and as such it could be easily adopted.
Governments and public health institutions must make access to free or affordable condoms a top priority since they are the most affordable way to prevent HIV, other STIs, and unplanned pregnancies.