AIDS Healthcare Foundation Nigeria has urged Nigerians to use condoms for protection from the consequences of casual sex.
AHF Nigeria made this known in a press statement issued ahead of the 2024 International Condom Day.
Observed annually on February 13, the International Condom Day gives people around the world a chance to receive free condoms and essential information about proper condom use and other sexual health issues.
The AHF said it will be commemorating the day with a walk in Benue State on February 13, where there would be public education on the need for correct and consistent use of the commodity, while free condoms shall be distributed to the people.
“On ICD 2024, we urge everyone worldwide to remember that condoms save lives and remain the best option for preventing HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unplanned pregnancies,” the statement partly read.
According to the World Health Organisation, condoms have had a significant impact on the global AIDS pandemic. Model simulations show that increased condom use since 1990 has averted an estimated 117 million new HIV infections.
“In 2020, 374 million new STI infections occurred globally among adults aged 15–49 with one of the four curable STIs: syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis. The majority of these could be prevented with the correct use of condoms.
“Ninety-eight percent of women whose male partners use male condoms correctly in every sex act over one year will be protected from unplanned pregnancy; when female condoms are used, 95 per cent of them will be protected against unplanned pregnancy,” WHO said
The statement added, “This is why, on ICD and beyond, the world must remember—condoms are safe, sexy, and essential to ending HIV/AIDS.
“Let’s commemorate by sharing the good news that condoms are still the best option for helping you and your partner keep intimate times safer and fun.”
For the walk-in Benue State on February 13, the foundation said it is targeting the youth population with messages of abstinence, but for those who are unable to abstain, to use condom consistently and correctly.
The youth engagement is in collaboration with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, National AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and STIs Control Programme, the Lagos state AIDS Control Agency, and the National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS Population and Development.
The youth engagement will be through X Spaces.
According to the AHF Nigeria Country Programme Director, Dr. Echey Ijezie, “The emphasis on reaching both the adult and youth population with condom education stems from the need to create and expand access to accurate information that support safer sexual practices in the population, which can halt the tide of new infections being recorded.”