As lovers across the world celebrated St. Valentine’s Day yesterday, a survey conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that 66 per cent of Nigerians do not use a condom, even though 92 per cent know what a condom is.
This was revealed at a press briefing organised by AIDS Health Foundation (AHF), in collaboration with the National Agency for the control of AIDS (NACA) and NOIPolls held in Abuja to mark this year’s International Condom Day (ICD) and also to present the results of a national poll on condom access and utilisation in Nigeria.
Presenting the report of the poll, Chief Executive Director of NOIPolls, Dr. Chike Nwangwu, said the survey, which was carried out in all the six geopolitical zones, showed that while 83 per cent of the people agree on the importance of condom use, 61 per cent asked for free distribution across the country to help prevent diseases and early pregnancy.
Nwangwu, however, called for more advocacy by the government and stakeholders to create more awareness, accessibility, and use of condoms, especially in rural areas.
Also speaking at the event, AHF-Nigeria Country Program Director, Dr. Echey Ijezie, said ICD is observed yearly by the body to promote safer sex awareness in a fun and creative way while encouraging people to use condoms.
“AHF has distributed over eight million free condoms across Nigeria in the past nine years in the national intervention against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and we will be distributing at least 250,000 this year in our continuous support to bridge Nigeria’s annual condom gap of about 600million,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, in his address, said the agency couldn’t monitor the national response without evaluating how preventive measures could help against the spread of diseases.
Aliyu, while advising Nigerians to stay away from risky behaviours in the celebration of Valentine’s Day, noted: “We are encouraging people to share love, but not share HIV/AIDS.
“That is why we promote the use of preventive measures, whatever they are, to reduce the chances of disease transmission.