As the three-month long sensitization drive on condom use comes to an end, the National AIDS Control Commission (CNLS) is set to hold final campaigns in every district next Sunday.
To mark last year’s World AIDS day on December 1, CNLS launched a condom distribution campaign that aimed at enabling Rwandans especially the youth to use condoms to stop the spread of HIV.
According to Jean Pierre Ayingoma, a CNLS official in charge of mobilization, the campaign’s aim was to distribute over 3 million condoms within the three months.
“We believe that we have met this target since distributions have been made in planned institutions such as universities countrywide, organizations like the National Bank of Rwanda, RWASCO, RECO and others,” Ayingoma said.
He however added that although the three-month campaign is set to end, partners in the fight against HIV will still continue to sensitize the public on condom use because it is one of the effective prevention measures.
Female condoms were distributed at no charge while men had to part with Rwf100. The official also emphasized that the countrywide distribution also aimed at target hang out places for the youth such as night clubs.
Ayingoma also said that the youth are mainly targeted because they rank among the high risk groups. HIV prevalence among the youth is at 1 percent and the plan is to reduce it by half by 2012.
“Although abstinence and faithfulness are significant HIV preventative measures, there is still a big group of youth who are having sex,” Ayingoma said. “Reducing the rate of transmission among such sexually active people calls for condom use.”
CNLS boss, Dr. Anita Asiimwe recently added that this campaign aims at breaking the silence that surrounds condom use since they have been branded as a sign of infidelity yet it is supposed to be an exemplary measure of responsibility.
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.