AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria is spearheading a campaign to promote condom use as a preventative measure against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancies. In a press release issued in anticipation of International Condom Day (ICD) 2024, observed annually on February 13, the foundation emphasized the critical role condoms play in sexual health and safety.
To mark the occasion, AHF Nigeria announced plans for a walk in Benue State on February 13, aimed at educating the public on the importance of correct and consistent condom use. The event will also feature the distribution of free condoms to attendees, reinforcing the message that condoms are a key tool in preventing the spread of HIV and other STIs.
Highlighting the global impact of condom use, the AHF referenced World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics indicating that condoms have significantly contributed to curbing the global AIDS pandemic. Since 1990, increased condom use has prevented an estimated 117 million new HIV infections. Furthermore, WHO reports that in 2020 alone, there were 374 million new STI infections among adults aged 15–49, the majority of which could have been avoided with proper condom use.
The effectiveness of condoms in preventing unplanned pregnancies is also notable, with a 98% protection rate for women whose male partners use male condoms correctly in every sexual encounter over a year. Female condoms offer a similar level of protection at 95%.
The AHF’s message for ICD 2024 and beyond is clear: “Condoms are safe, sexy, and essential to ending HIV/AIDS.” The foundation aims to spread this message, particularly among the youth, through collaborations 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.
Dr. Echey Ijezie, AHF Nigeria Country Programme Director, emphasized the dual approach of promoting abstinence and, for those who are sexually active, the consistent and correct use of condoms.