Friday, February 12, 2021 3:38 pm
This year, between 12th – 14th of February, AHF-Nigeria is teaming up with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), to produce and air an innovative jingle that highlights safer sexual practices and that also harps on abstinence.
Also with NACA, a testing campaign is being run with a notable radio station in Abuja, ‘Berekete family’ given the reach of the station, while at the NACA office, stakeholders shall gather for the dissemination of the Condom Access and Utilization Survey conducted in 2020 to ensure gaps identified in the survey are streamlined in interventions.
Importantly, AHF-Nigeria with NACA is also partnering with Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), the training arm of the online newspaper for a Tweet-meet to engage Nigerians on the challenges, opportunities and gaps needing to be bridged in our condom programming, while that presents an opportunity to interact directly with the people.
“Across our program states of: Abuja, Kogi, Anambra, Nasarawa, Akwa Ibom, Benue and Cross River state, AHF-Nigeria shall be providing free HIV testing and promote healthy lifestyles with the year’s theme of the ICD, “Always in Fashion”, while we distribute free condoms to Nigerians, said Dr. Echey Ijezie, AHF-Nigeria Country Program Director.“
Lockdowns and restrictions due to COVID-19 have been an ongoing threat to condom access, particularly in countries where stockouts and other barriers already made it difficult for people to get condoms,” said AHF Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy Terri Ford.
“AHF remains committed to ensuring people everywhere have access to free or affordable condoms, and our ‘Always in Fashion’ ICD events hosted by AHF’s global country teams are just one way we do that. We encourage everyone in the 45 countries where we operate to find an entertaining event near you and spread the word on the importance of condoms and condom access for all!”
“We have always placed condom access high on our priority list,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “International Condom Day gives us a platform to call for governments and public health institutions to ensure that people have the tools to protect themselves and their loved ones, which is especially important when we’re still seeing 1.7 million new HIV infections every year. That’s simply not acceptable when we have the means to distribute condoms to people worldwide to keep them safe from preventable diseases.”
The group said further that COVID-19 “has impacted many aspects of our lives, and access to condoms was unfortunately not spared from the effects of the pandemic. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, invites you to join us for our “Always in Fashion” International Condom Day (ICD) to remind everyone how important it is for people globally to have access to free and affordable condoms—which are still the best way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV.
Obstacles created by the pandemic have further reinforced the necessity and importance of advocacy to prioritize access to condoms. For young people, “Always in Fashion” is life-affirming and essential to curbing HIV and STI rates.
ICD was started by AHF in 2008 with the aim of promoting creative condom marketing and their use, because condoms are still the most cost-effective method for preventing STIs and unplanned pregnancies. The annual celebration is observed globally in conjunction with Valentine’s Day—and AHF Nigeria have exciting and informative virtual and in-person “Always in Fashion” events planned for 2021!”