Over three million condoms will be distributed by the National AIDS Control Commission (CNLS) as one of the main activities to mark this year’s World AIDS Day.
The campaign will see millions of female condoms distributed for free while male condoms will cost Rwf100.
The increased access to condoms is in a bid to curb down on HIV infections in the country which currently stands at 1 percent among the youths of 15-24 years and 3 percent in the country.
The revelation was made yesterday by the CNLS boss, Dr. Anita Asiimwe at a televised forum that was held at Telecom House, Kacyiru.
World AIDS day is globally observed on December 1 every year to attract attention, mobilize political decision makers and development partners to combine efforts in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
According to Asiimwe, Rwanda will this year, focus on condom use as the major prevention method in the high risk groups of people.
“Tomorrow, we will launch a three months mass sensitization campaign on condom availability and use. This is so because curbing infections by use of this method is still very silent. Most people tend to equate condoms to infidelity yet using them is a clear sign of responsibility.”
“During this time we are mainly targeting the youth, discordant couples (where one partner is infected and the other is not) and sex workers among others as high risk groups which ought to use condoms,” Asiimwe told The New Times.
The Commission’s chief noted that millions and millions of condoms are set to be disseminated countrywide adding that the number will be much higher than those that were distributed and used in 2008.
“Our campaign aims at breaking the silence that surrounds condom use. Both men and women should act responsibly about their lives. Through these interventions we intend to cut the new infections by 50 percent among the youth,” she said.
“Our efforts are to ensure that those who are infected stay alive with the available free antiretroviral drugs however those who are not should stay negative because new infections are a big problem which if not managed now, our country could at one time fail to treat the infected,” another official noted.
Other activities that will be done on World AIDS Day include a free soccer match between Rayon and Kiyovu Sports clubs which will be held at Nyamirambo stadium tomorrow afternoon and HIV testing and counseling.
CNLS 2008 condom consumption trends estimate that the per capita consumption among the sexually active population in Rwanda is only 3 condoms: a number that is still very low as compared to the situation and needs.