AHF distributes 160,000 condoms to Benue residents
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria on Thursday embarked on its target to distribute 160,000 condoms to residents of Benue state.
Also, the organisation provided free Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) counselling and testing for at least 7,000 people across seven local government areas of the state.
The ART Clinician and Site Coordinator, Dr. Shuaibu Joseph, said the gesture was meant to mark this year’s International Condom Day aimed at promoting the use of condom against s*xually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
“It is a day set aside to increase awareness of correct use of condoms for dual benefits. Not many people know the benefit of consistent use of condom.
“Since its inception in 2009, AHF has been at the forefront of promoting this celebration in a bid to reduce the spread of HIV through safe s*x practices,” he said.
Joseph further said that the week-long event was expected to climaxed on February 13 but due to the elections holding in matter of days, AHF decided to mark the day earlier.
He said at least 50,000 of the total number of condoms were distributed on Thursday alone by the organisation around Makurdi metropolis as the event featured a road show, dance, quiz competition, distribution of condoms, sanitary pads and entertainment among others at the Mechanic village along Otukpo road in Makurdi.
Joseph added that this year’s theme for the event, “safer is fun” was aimed at encouraging young people to engage meaningfully in s*xual activities, especially, as Valentine Day fast approaches.
He noted that the consistent use of condoms correctly is helpful to play safe, remain protected and to keep STIs and unwanted pregnancies at bay.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of Benue State AIDS Control Agency, Dr. Gideon Dura, in a pep talk, noted that the issue of condom cannot be overemphasised as there must be awareness among s*xually active people on the need to imbibe the use of condom as a culture.
Dura who thanked AHF and all other HIV/AIDS implementing partners in the state, however worried that the most complex aspect of dealing with AIDS-related matters had remain behavioural pattern of the people which in his estimation is hard to control because it depends on religion and culture, among others.
“But as it is, a lot of knowledge has been gained. I believe that together, we will move forward,” he posited.