A recent report on condom access and utilization in Nigeria by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), in collaboration with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and other organizations, has shown that only 70 million Nigerians use condoms.
According to the report, this represents 34 percent of the Nigerian population, which is estimated to be 206 million, if latest figures by the United Nations is anything to go by.
It further revealed that there exists a gap of 564 million condoms needed annually in order to achieve 90 percent coverage across the country.
Furthermore, the report showed that the North Central, South-South, and South East used more condoms than any other region in the country, at 44, 42, 40 percent respectively. South West, North East and North West had 38, 26, and 22 percentages respectively in condom use. Also, more males had access to condoms than their female counterparts.
In his address Friday in Abuja, to commemorate this year’s International Condom Day, the Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, noted that condoms play an integral role in the country’s HIV response strategy as regards prevention if used correctly and consistently.
He however stressed that the Agency is also keen on promoting faithfulness to one partner. Noting that if people are faithful to their partners, the use of condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) will be unnecessary.
He said, “Today’s event, since its first commemoration in 2009 has been part of the various innovative ways of promoting the use of condoms and reminding sexually active people that correct use of condoms can prevent sexually transmitted infections like HIV as well as unwanted pregnancy.
“The difference in HIV prevalence between women and men is greatest among younger adults, with young women aged 20 to 24 years more than three times as likely to be living with HIV as young men in the same age group. Among children aged 0-14 years, HIV prevalence is 0.2 percent.
“NACA provides oversight and coordination of the processes and stakeholders involvement with the national HIV response. Prevention continues to be an essential element of the HIV response with condoms as an integral component. When used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective in preventing STIs including HIV, and remain a key component of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy.
“Numerous demand creation, access and utilisation of interventions are in place to promote condom and lubricant to use at various levels through market research social marketing and targeted distribution social mobilization and capacity building.
“The government reinstates its commitment and resolve to mitigate behavioral and biomedical barriers influencing the spread of HIV by ensuring effective implementation of intervention to address individual risk reduction and the new HIV infections.”
Dr. Aliyu, while decrying the risk associated with having multiple sexual partners as it increases vulnerability among the youth population to HIV, urged Nigerians to avoid unprotected sex which often leads to unwanted pregnancies and increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.
The Program Manager of the AHF, Taofeek Adeleye, who explained that the survey was conducted in 2020, and final report disseminated this year, added: “We have male condoms being more readily available than female condoms. We also have some females that are not even aware of female condoms. As an organisation, we are looking at issues around male and female condoms, and we are also intensifying on condom education promotion.”