As the world commemorates the International Condom Day (ICD), AIDS Health Care Foundation(AHF), an NGO says condom remains a veritable tool toward the prevention of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Dr Kema Onu, State Clinical Coordinator, AHF Nigeria, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja after a walk in commemoration of ICD.
Celebrated annually on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, ICD is aimed at creating awareness on the efficacy of condom in child spacing and promotion of safer sex.
He stated that STDs and HIV/AIDS prevention required a lot of process and one of which was the use of condom, adding that more awareness was necessary to curb its spread.
He said “tomorrow is Feb. 14 and unique because it is valentine’s day and the consciousness of people might be reduced in terms of prevention of HIV and STDs, so, we are preaching this among other means of prevention.
“With the number of new positive patients we record annually, we need to come to terms with the reality that condoms are the veritable means of HIV prevention.
“So we are raising more awareness and consciousness of Nigerians toward adopting condoms, which will aide in preventing HIV, STDs and unplanned pregnancies,’’ he said.
Onu said that presently, Nigeria’s annual Condom Gap was about 600 million, noting, however that AHF had contributed its quota to the national response to HIV/AIDS prevention by providing condoms to key population and the general population.
He explained that the foundation had also contributed in reducing the prevalence of HIV by distributing condoms to brothels, hotels, hospitals and key population, ensuring that people in the appropriate age have access to it.
He attributed cultural norms and religion as factors preventing people from accessing condoms, saying that there was need for advocacy and awareness to reduce the scourge of STDs.
Dr Emmanuel Nwabueze, Medical Director, AHF Nigeria, said “condoms have dual capacity for contraception and in prevention of infectious diseases.
“Our awareness is to preach the ABC of condom, where the A stands for abstinence, B is being faithful and C for contraception.
“For people that cannot abstain, they should endeavour to use condom.
“AHF has been supporting government to distribute condoms in the past seven years and today, we are distributing 250,000 condoms in the seven states where we operate.
“We are advocating and creating awareness for safer sex, and the correct use of condom.”
Lilian Kohol, Miss Health Africa 2019/2020, commended the foundation for the efforts toward curtailling the spread of STDs through condom advocacy.
Kohol, therefore, encouraged youths to use condom rather than indulge in acts that would put them at risk of contacting diseases or unplanned pregnancy.