AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an NGO partnered National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to promote use of condom in preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV.
The partnership is part of advocacy ahead of the 2023 International Condom Day (ICD), annually celebrated on Feb. 13, in conjunction with St. Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14.
The 2023 celebration, which has “Always in Fashion’’ as its theme, is to remind the public about the efficacy of condom as veritable means of preventing STIs, HIV and unplanned pregnancies.
Information about the advocacy is in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Mr Steve Aborisade, the Advocacy and Marketing Manager of AHF Nigeria.
He quoted Terri Ford, the AHF Chief, Global Advocacy and Policy, as saying “condom use has significantly impacted the global HIV and AIDS response.
“The use of condom has averted an estimated 117 million new HIV infections since 1990 in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific.’’
Ford also said that millions of people globally were still without access to condom due to many reasons across various parts of the world, adding however that “AHF has put condom and STIs prevention its top global priorities.’’
The global advocacy chief said the foundation had intensified efforts to get condoms to people throughout the 45 country teams where it is operating, and has planned an in-person and virtual commemorative ICD events.
“AHF Nigeria, in collaboration with NACA and UNFPA Nigeria will host a Twitter-Space and panel discussion where a creative competition on safe sex will be adjudged.
Dr Echey Ijezie, the foundation’s Country Programme Director, said knowledge about HIV and STIs prevention among adolescents is generally low, and stressed the need for increased enlightenment.
Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Director-General of NACA, also stressed the need for preventive measures to check new cases and called for strengthened age and context-specific programming for youths.
Established by AHF, a non-profit organisation founded in the 1980s, ICD was a response to the AIDS epidemic, and first introduced in 2009 as a way to help people remember the importance of practicing safe sex.