KIGALI - Rwanda will today join the rest of the world to observe the World AIDS Day, a day that attracts attention across the globe to mobilize efforts in curbing the spread of the pandemic.
According to the Executive Secretary of the National AIDS Control Commission, Dr. Anita Asiimwe, official celebrations will be held at Nyamirambo stadium to mark this day.
“We will today launch a three-month awareness campaign on condom availability and use as one of the major prevention measures of HIV transmission.”
“As part of the day’s activities, a soccer match will be held between Rayon and Kiyovu Sports clubs, voluntary testing and counselling will also be done including countrywide distribution of free female condoms while male condoms will go for Rwf100,” Asiimwe told The New Times.
The day will be held under the theme; “Condoms for dual protection. Let’s talk about it, access it and use it as a fundamental right for all!”
The commission’s chief singled out youth, discordant couples (where one partner is infected and the other is not), sex workers and people with concurrent partners as cases where condom use has to be emphasized.
Although there are other preventive measures, Asiimwe emphasizes condom use as one of the most effective methods, arguing that most people attach its use to infidelity yet it’s a sign of responsibility.
Officials added that using a condom also comes as a form of dual protection for unintended pregnancies.
Recent statistics from UNAIDS show that 33 million people across the world are infected with HIV with 22 million in sub Saharan Africa. In 2007, 2 million people died of AIDS related causes while 2.7 million new infections occurred last year.
Rwanda’s prevalence currently stands at 3 percent.