World Condom Day was commemorated in Zimbabwe’s month of love, February and appropriately on St Valentine’s Day. Ministry of Health and Child Care Hon Deputy Minister Aldrin Musiiwa officiated on the day were he confirmed that condoms are important in the reduction of HIV new infections.
“Due to a combination of robust HIV prevention programmes that included condom promotion and distribution, the prevalence of HIV has reduced from 27% to 0.4% and Zimbabwe has become a global example in HIV prevention.” he said.
In 2016 we managed to distribute a total of 105 million male condoms and 4.5 million female condoms. There is a new female condom called Cupid, and it is the ministry’s hope that the new condom will increase the use of female condoms.
Zimbabwe still has a long way to go and has the time to intensify resources and invest more in new innovations to ensure that these initiatives reach the intended goals.
Ministry of Health and Child Care Acting Director AIDS and TB, Dr Tsitsi Apollo encouraged people to use condoms correctly and consistently. She said that as a ministry, Health and Child Care is committed to ensuring that the promotion of condom use encouraged.
“As we have strong evidence to prove that male and female condoms are one of the high impact HIV prevention interventions and they also have added advantage of also being a family planning method. We shall continue to introduce more new brands of condoms to encourage continued use of the male and female condoms.” she said.
The AHF Zimbabwe Country Programme Manager Dr Enerst Chikwati said condoms remained a key component of high impact HIV prevention programmes and it is not time to reduce funding for condoms but actually to increase it.
During the commemorations there were other activities which include distribution of various brands of male and female condoms, demonstration on the correct use of the condoms and free HIV testing and counselling services.