'104m condoms distributed annually'

CHINHOYI - At least 104 million condoms were distributed in Zimbabwe last year alone, the National Aids Council (Nac) has revealed.

Amon Mpofu, Nac monitoring and evaluation director, said although the distribution figures were high, the organisation could not ascertain that they were used.

“You can see that we are very active sexually,” Mpofu said. “Zimbabwe seems to be the highest condom consumer in the world. That’s a good thing. Infections are going down,” added Mpofu yesterday at a workshop in Chinhoyi.

“Whether or not they are being used, sex is something people don’t want to talk about. If you want to do it, you actually make sure that the door is locked and lights are switched off if it’s during the night, so for us to know people are using them means we have to watch them, which is not feasible.

“So what we can do is depend on reported data, for example surveys, but that data is

biased. We can only measure the effect of such prevention strategies over a long time.”

Zimbabwe, through multi-strategies including circumcision, has managed to bring down HIV incidence rates.

Research has indicated that circumcision can reduce chances of contracting HIV by 60 percent. The country is also targeting to circumcise about 1, 3 million men by 2017.

According to Mpofu, an estimated 400 000 men have been circumcised under the national voluntary medical male circumcision.

“If you are circumcised and use a condom, then you are completely safe, 60 percent plus 90 percent,” he said.

Mpofu said the country is struggling to reach out to all HIV positive people because many of them do not even know their status. The country has an HIV screening target of 85 percent.

“We currently have about 63,4 percent adults and 55 percent children on HIV treatment against a target of 85 percent,” Mpofu said.

“Outside resource constraints, we also realise treatment targets are affected because some of these people don’t even know their status and still can’t force everyone to get tested. So while I plead with everyone to get tested, no matter how beautiful your partner is, just know that she may have the virus.”

Comments (1)

most of those condoms are used by zanu pf people they pull them over theyr heads so do look like real priks.

jack - 26 May 2015

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