By Elias Hakizimana.
Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) donated 46,000 free condoms during Tour du Rwanda Cycling Competition 2018 across the country.
The initiative was to continue reducing new HIV/AIDS infection among Rwandans according to Narcisse Nteziryayo, AHF-Rwanda official in charge of HIV Prevention.
He told The Inspirer that AHF-Rwanda supported Tour du Rwanda by offering free HIV test, free male circumcision services and free condoms along with the competition routes.
Male circumcision was a head three days before the riders reached the places and HIV test and free condom distribution went up on the arrival of competitors.
Within the same period of Tour du Rwanda, 574 males were circumcised from different health centers and hospitals where riders passed in Rwamagana, Huye, Musanze and Rubavu where both surgical and prepex methods were used.
“It is the activity we planned along with Tour du Rwanda Cycling Competition but currently we are operating in 10 districts of Rwanda where AHF-Rwanda continues to support the government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Health to reduce new HIV infection.” Said Nteziryayo.
“This competition is followed by many Rwandans especially youth. We believe that circumcision reduces contamination at 60 percent and other Sexually Transmitted Illnesses (STIs). Besides, a circumcised man gives chance to his wife to avoid umbilical cord cancer,” he added.
He noted that they managed to distribute 46,000 free condoms among the targeted 300,000 but these free services are ahead at health centers and hospitals even after the cycling competition.
AHF-Rwanda brought the same initiative to give free condoms in the ongoing Rwanda International Trade Fair (EXPO) that started at Gikondo Expo ground in Kicukiro district from July 26, 2018. In this regard, 320,000 free condoms were distributed.
Free condoms are currently distributed at youth centres, pubs and public places and in condom kiosks countrywide. One condom kiosk gives between 14,000 and 16,000 condoms every week according to Nteziryayo.
“Rwandans should know that HIV is still around. We will continue mobilizing people on condom use and hopefully many are now understanding the role of this and male circumcision. Many Rwandans are getting tested and ones who are HIV positive are lucky because we follow on them and make sure they get Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs,” said Nteziryayo.
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