Global AIDS organization, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has distributed over 8million free condoms across Nigeria in the past 9 years in its national intervention against HIV Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.
This was revealed at the press briefing organized by the Foundation in collaboration with the National Agency for the control of AIDS (NACA) and NOI Polls, held in Abuja yesterday to mark the 2020 International Condom Day (ICD) and also the presentation of results of a national poll on condom access and utilization in Nigeria.
The Foundation disclosed said it will be distributing at least 250,000 in 2020 in its continuous support to bridge the country’s annual condom gap of about 600million.
Speaking yesterday at the event, the AHF-Nigeria Country Program Director, Dr. Echey Ijezie said the International Condom Day (ICD) is observed annually on the 13th of February through Valentine’s Day, 14th February, to promote safer sex awareness in a fun and creative way while encouraging people to use condoms.
According to him; “From when AHF commenced operations in Nigeria in August 2011, we have distributed over 8million free condoms to Nigerians. Getting free condoms to people who need them has always been a priority of AHF, and we are stepping up advocacy even more in 2020 to help break down barriers to access.”
On the nationwide survey on condom access and utilisation, Dr Ijezie also said AHF will continue to play its supportive role to the national HIV/AIDS intervention as a strategic partner to Nigeria as results of findings go to impact planning and strategies to bridge identified gaps.
Presenting the report of the poll conducted by the NOIPolls, its Chief Executive Director, Dr Chike Nwangwu said 66% of Nigerians do not use a condom, even as 92% know what a condom is.
The report also revealed that while 83% people agree on the importance of condom use, 61% are asking for free distribution across the country to help prevent diseases and early pregnancy.
Dr Nwangwu however, called on the government and stakeholders for more advocacy in order to create more awareness in especially the rural areas.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of the National Agency for the control of AIDS (NACA) Dr Gambo Aliyu in his speech said NACA cannot monitor the national response without evaluating how preventive measures can help against the spread of diseases.
While advising Nigerians to stay away from risky behaviours during Valentine day, Dr Aliyu said; “We are encouraging people to share love, but not share HIV/AIDS. That is why we promote the use of prevent measures, whatever they are, to reduce the chances of disease transmission.”