AIDs Health Care Foundation (AHF), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), will distribute 250,000 condoms in six states of the federation in commemoration of the 2020 International Condom Day (ICD), Mr Steve Aborisade, the Advocacy and Marketing Manager, said.
Aborisade, the marketing manager of AHF Nigeria, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He stated that the 2020 ICD, with “Safer is Fun” as its theme, is celebrated annually on Feb. 13, in conjunction with Valentine’s Day celebrated on Feb.14.
He said that AHF would mark the day with a road walk, distribution of condoms and HIV testing and counselling exercise across six AHF-Nigeria programme states of Benue, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Nasarawa, Anambra and Abuja.
Other activities include entertainment and educational “Safer is Fun” activities alongside advocacy messages.
The marketing manager noted that Dr Echey Ijezie, the Country Programme Director of the foundation
in Nigeria had reiterated commitment toward ensuring increased access to condom as the world celebrates ICD.
He said the use of condom would assist in preventing pregnancy, HIV and Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STIs),
as well as promote healthy lifestyles.
He quoted Ijezie as saying “on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, we will show Nigerians how “Safer is Fun” and why we urgently
need to take advocacy for condom access to a higher level.
“This is critical as people cannot take charge of their health if widespread stock outs, shortages and unaffordable prices for condoms continue.
“Presently AHF-Nigeria is collaborating with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and NOI Polls in a
nationwide survey on the condom culture of Nigerians.
“This is an effort to support the Nigerian national condom policy and marketing approach to bridge the country’s
annual condom gap of about 600 million.”
Terri Ford, the AHF Chief Global Policy and Advocacy, also said that distributing free condoms to people who needed them most had always been a priority for the foundation.
Ford said the foundation would step up its advocacy around the world to help break down barriers to access as condoms remained the most cost-effective option for preventing HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancies.
The President of AHF, Michael Weinstein, said “ICD is a great way to remind people everywhere that HIV and STIs are still major global health threats.
“These threats can be avoided by regularly and correctly using condoms.
“There are 1.7 million new HIV infections annually and more than one million new cases of curable STIs every day, according to UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation, respectively.
“That is unacceptable when these conditions are 100 per cent preventable, thus, governments and global health organisations must do more to ensure that people have easy access to free or affordable condoms.”
AHF is the largest global AIDS organisation taking care of more than 1.3 million lives across 43 countries, including Nigeria.