The world’s largest global non-profit AIDS organisation, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) which operates in 39 countries with more than 860 000 patients in care, is gearing up to celebrate International Condom Day (ICD) on Tuesday, 13th February.
“Our key message remains that condoms are ‘Always in Fashion’. Regardless of how long you have been with and how well you think you know your intimate partner, condom use is critical” says Hilary Thulare, Country Programme Director at AHF South Africa.
“Condom usage not only prevents the chances of pregnancy, but also prevents sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), HIV/AIDS along with reducing the risk of cervical cancer and wart-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) in women” says Thulare.
“Durex conducted a global survey amongst 18 – 24 year olds and the disturbing result was that more than half the participants admitted to having unprotected sex at least once, re-enforcing the importance of spreading the message of using a condom when engaging in sexual activities” reiterates Thulare.
International Condom Day, which falls under STI/Condom and Pregnancy Awareness Week in South Africa, will also be the day that AHF unveils its 2018 International Condom Day song, “Tried and True” a parody of Ed Sheeran’s chart topping hit single, “Shape of You”, to pump up enthusiasm at ICD events.
To spread awareness around ICD and condom usage, especially with Valentine’s Day coming, AHF will also be hosting several activations and events around South Africa, distributing condoms, educating the public on proper condom usage and conducting HIV/AIDS testing, on Tuesday, 13 February at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape, Diepsloot in Gauteng and Umlazi’s Mega City in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Condoms are under attack in the realm of global public health, with governments and international agencies slashing funds,” said AHF Chief of Global Policy, Advocacy & Marketing Terri Ford.
“This will most likely lead to more infections worldwide — but thankfully, International Condom Day is a way to reinvigorate the message that condoms are a fun and fashionable way to protect oneself and one’s partner, while reinforcing the tenet that condoms should be available for free to anyone who needs them.”