The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has counselled couples to not use teeth or a pair of scissors to open a condom whenever they want to use it.
The State Coordinator, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Kema Onu, says although condoms are good for the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and unwanted pregnancy, its correct use has remained a challenge.
Onu said this during a march to commemorate the World Condom Day on Thursday in Abuja with the theme ‘Safer is fun.’
He explained that although the Condom Day was supposed to hold on February 13, it was commemorated earlier due to the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria, as many citizens would be travelling to exercise their civic rights.
“The use of condoms remains a better alternative for the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV, and prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
“But the problem is, many still don’t know how to use condom appropriately and that is why we are here to create awareness on the proper use,” Onu said.
He said condom is a highly effective strategy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission when used consistently and correctly.
Onu said there are no side effects to the use of condoms, noting, however, that there can be allergic reactions to certain kinds of condoms.
He said although the National Condom Strategy emphasised the deficit of 564 million condoms annually in the country, with the consolidated efforts of government and other stakeholders, the gap could be bridged.
The Medical Director of AHF, Dr. Emmanuel Nwabueze, said prevention is better than cure, adding that the foundation will continue in its efforts to create more awareness on the prevention of STDs.
He said that as a way to reduce the rate of HIV and STDs in the country, the foundation has condom dispensers located at strategic locations in the FCT as well as five other states where it operates, including Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue, Anambara, Cross River states.
Nwabueze said condoms are physical barriers that could reduce the risk of exposure to HIV because they are made of materials that do not allow the HIV virus to escape.
The State Nursing Coordinator, Mrs. Christie Awunor, said many individuals are still ignorant on the proper use, saying some still use their teeth or scissors to open condoms.
She said with the use of teeth or scissors, one could damage the condom, thereby making it ineffective.
The Advocacy and Marketing Manager, Mr. Steven Aborisade, said condoms would be distributed in Abuja, Kogi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Benue and Cross River states as parts of activities marking the World Condom Day.