Today marks World Condom Day. This year’s theme is ‘Always in Fashion’ and has been localised in different countries. The theme’s drive is to build people’s confidence in condoms.
Cultural standards also stand in the way as condom use in marriage is seen as a sign of promiscuity in some African countries.
The AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF), an NGO, says it will distribute 1.5 million condoms in Nigeria as part of activities to commemorate the 2017 World Condom Day.
The Country Director of AHF, Adetayo Towolawi, made this known during the commemoration of 2017 World Condom Day on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the distribution of the condoms, with other activities lined up for this year’s occasion, would help increase awareness on the use of condom and its role in preventing HIV and AIDS. The director said that condom played an important role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
Mr. Towolawi said the day coincided with a prelude to the Valentine’s Day, noting that where people shares time with their love, HIV also found time to spread within the period.
The country director said the foundation had been distributing condoms and conducting free medical outreaches.
Over 100 million condoms were distributed in 2016 up from 80 million in 2014 during the same period, the ministry of health has said. Information from the ministry says 109. 5 were used last year. According to the ministry, 105 million male and 4.5 million female condoms were distributed, with the female condom uptake remaining low.
According to UN data, Zimbabwe is ranked as the 10th highest in condom use out of 37 countries with Amenia on number (1), Swaziland (2), Nigeria (3), Ukraine (4), Belize (5), Mauritius (6), Gabon (7), Lesotho (8), Haiti (9) and Zimbabwe (10).
According to the ministry, the use of condoms as a safe sex practise has helped the country lower the number of new HIV infections. National Aids Council says HIV infections were cut by half for adults between 2009 and 2015 and by 30% among children from 2010 to 2015.
United Nations Population Fund deputy country representative Chinwe Ogbonna says more than 50 per cent of sexually active young people in Zambia do not use condoms.
Speaking during commemorations for the International Condom Day at Mutambe grounds in Lusaka’s Mandevu area on Monday, Ogbonna stressed that low and inconsistent condom use among sexually active population groups contributed to high HIV transmission.
She said statistics indicated that only 45.1 per cent of adult men and 50.1 per cent of women use condoms.
She said there was need to increase sustainable investments by the government and its partners at national level.
The increase in the number of women taking charge of their sexual health is encouraging, the City of Cape Town said in 2016.
The City of Cape Town said on Sunday that a service provider has been unable to keep up with residents’ demand for state-funded flavoured condoms. In August Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced the MAX condoms in Parliament after receiving complaints that the previous Choice condoms were smelly and noisy. The new condoms come in a range of colours and flavours, including strawberry, grape and vanilla.
Over a 12-month period, 41 153 new STIs were treated, an average of 3 429 a month. This figure is slightly lower than the previous year’s average of 3 599 a month, Smith said.
The city of Cape Town distributed 50 million male condoms and more than 1.5 million female condoms in the past 12 months.
The government on Monday launched new studded condoms in what the National Aids Control Council (NACC) terms “pleasure with prevention.”
The condoms will now be offered alongside ordinary ones for free. This is part of International Condom Day celebrations being marked today, February 13, in Kenya, a day before Valentine’s Day.
The launch of the studded rubber sheaths — which offer protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV — was prompted by consumer preferences for them over plain condoms, NACC says.
No glove, no love – Condom history and myths
The Makamba Online team unearthed some pertinent information about condom history and myths that can impact its effectiveness.
- The first condom dates back to Roman times, when animal bladders were used to prevent the spread of STDs
- In 1564, Italian anatomist Gabriel Fallopio recommended a linen sheath moistened with lotion to protect against syphilis.
- It was only in the 18th century that male condoms entered the health market and were adopted in family planning programmes.
- In the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, condom use was promoted with other methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies.
- In the 1980s the threat of AIDS put condoms back in the spotlight for protection against HIV.
- Condoms have holes big enough to allow HIV through.
- Men have a hard time finding condoms that fit properly.
- Condoms break and slip easily.
- Using condoms for contraception is like playing Russian Roulette.
- The latex in condoms can degrade during storage.
- Condoms provide no protection against HPV or herpes.
- Making condoms available to youth encourages them to have sex.
- Condoms do not feel good.
- Teaching youth about condoms entices sex.
Condoms are celebrated for the dual role of being both a contraceptive device and a barrier against sexually transmitted infections, but their success is tied to correct and consistent use.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro