AN NGO working to stop the spread of HIV/Aids plans to distribute 100,000 condoms and test more than 1,000 people in Kenya to promote safe sex during the Valentine season.
Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF-Kenya) will use the activities to mark the International Condoms Day( ICD) - an informal holiday observed on February 13 in conjunction with Valentine's Day, February 14. It will give away free condom and hold safer sex awareness events.
AHF-Kenya programme manager Faith Mwende said there will be events in Nairobi, Emali and Mombasa and interact with Kenyans by distributing condoms and carrying out HIV/Aids tests.
"We have packaged the information including a video clip for the promotion of safe sex practices and condom distribution. We want also to remove the stigma associated with condom use," said Mwende.
She said apart from testing for HIV/Aids and distribution of condoms the ceremonies are aimed at encouraging Kenyans to "engage in the condom dialogue" and its important role in reducing transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Mwende said AHF-Kenya has been commemorating ICD for the past 4 years. "The ICD global theme is condom nation. We want to pass safe sex messages in an appealing way. This is aimed at reducing stigma and misconception of condoms in Kenya," said Mwende.
She said in Nairobi the celebrations will target university students from public universities.
"We want the university students to engage in the condom dialogue and pass the same information to other Kenyans and reduce the transmission of HIV, STIs and the abuse of emergency contraceptive," said Mwende.
"Its time we looked at condoms from a different perspective. Proper condoms use is important for family planning, prevention of STIs and most importantly HIV," said Mwende. "We can never make any change until we make safe sex sexy. It's time we packaged safe sex as the best option."
She said safe sex practices are important in reducing the spread of STIs and HIV and that proper condom usage is one of these proven methods.