Aids Health Foundation (AHF-Rwanda) has urged the lovers to protect themselves from the risks incurred through unprotected sex by using a condom as they celebrate Valentines’ day.
The message was delivered while launching the new condom kiosk on the celebration of the International Condom Day 2018 yesterday in Rubavu district.
“This initiative is in line with helping lovers to also celebrate valentines’ day on February 14, 2018 keeping in mind to protect themselves from new HIV/AIDS infection, sexual transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies,” said Dr Brenda Asiimwe Kateera, AHF-Rwanda Country Program Manager.
The HIV prevalence in Rubavu district is currently at 6 percent, doubling the national prevalence rate which is at 3% which the new condom kiosk in Gisenyi town will help to reduce according to Dr Brenda Asiimwe Kateera, AHF-Rwanda Country Program Manager.
Kateera said that Rubavu district was chosen as it is among the hot points, and following its geographical location near the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that links cross border businesses.
“We chose Rubavu district as the recent survey showed that 6% of citizens are infected. The Gisenyi town is also a center for cross-border business people including Truck drivers among others; and we must protect them against new HIV/AIDS infection by availing free condoms near them,” said Kateera.
The condoms kiosks operate in 24 hours, 7 days and the served free condoms are of good quality, Kateera explained encouraging people to use them.
“HIV is still there, I encourage people especially youth to be tested and to take ARV for those found infected. I hope together we will achieve the Zero HIV infection target,” she said.
Kateera said that AHF Rwanda will continue delivering health care services to reduce new HIV/AIDS infection through various initiatives including free test, free condoms availability, male circumcision, Treatment , counseling and advocacy among othersDr Brenda Asiimwe Kateera, AHF-Rwanda Country Program Manager addressing to the citizens of Rubavu district yesterday.
AHF-Rwanda has been serving in Rwanda since 11 years ago, giving free testing services, free condoms, circumcision and giving support in HIV care where they help patients get Anti-Retro-Viros (ARV).
The condom kiosks were launched in Rwanda since 2015 with the purpose to reduce new HIV infection which is still a burden.
There are currently eight kiosks located in Nyarugenge-Rwezamenyo, Gasabo-Remera(Migina), Gisenyi, Rusizi, Huye and elsewhere.
Ernest Nyirinkindi, the in charge of information, education and behavioral change communication at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) encouraged men to be circumcised as it protects them against HIV infection at 60 percent.
Youth occupies 67 % of infected
He said that the general population who are infected are the youth at 67%.
Among the challenges that are still impeding the use of condom include lack of knowledge and attitude on it, where only 33 percent of women and 31% of men have not knowledge about condom use.
In 2015, DHS survey revealed that 24 percent of men and 16 percent of women did not use a condom in the year preceded the survey.
According to Marie Grace Uwampayizina, Rubavu district vice mayor in charge of social affairs, the fighting of new HIV infection must be everyone’s effort.
Uwampayizina encouraged not only the youth, but also the couples to use condoms in to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS, STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
“I thank AHF-Rwanda to think of Rubavu district and bring a condom kiosk , nowadays a number of young ladies get unwanted pregnancies, if we say youth are foundation of future of the country we have also to protect them,’ said Uwampayizina.
Youth appreciated the kiosk
Halima Uwimana, the 24 year old mother has one child. She said the kiosk will help her to plan for a better future of her family.
“This condom kiosk will help me a lot in planning my future, I will use it to prevent myself from unwanted pregnancy,” said Uwimana.
She noted that it was difficult to find it nearby and is not affordable to everyone as they buy it at Rwf100.“We shall always get it at the kiosk,” she said.
By Elias Hakizimana @theinspirerpubl