HIV infections declines owing the success to Free Condom Kiosks

Samuel Baker BYANSI.

The free condom kiosks are placed in HIV high risk areas in the country they ensure condom accessibility 24 hours daily to members of the community, and individuals can pick free condoms and educational materials on safer sex practices.

So far the condom kiosks have been placed in six districts including Kicukiro, Gasabo, Nyarugenge, Rubavu, Huye and Rusizi.

Narcise Nteziryayo an HIV Prevention officer at AHF Rwanda [AIDs Health Care Foundation] argues that the kiosks presence have played a big role in Maintaining the HIV Incidences and New infections.

“The rate of HIV Incidences since 2005 are still constant at 0.27 per cent in the country and the HIV new infections have declined 55 per cent in the last 2 years.” Narcise said.

According to AHF Rwanda the kiosks will be planted throughout HIV high risk areas in the country as time goes on.

“AHF Rwanda targets areas where the residence are at risk of getting infected by HIV, with the help of RBC we manage to allocated the places in need and that’s where we always focus, we believe that as time goes on we will be able to cover the whole country” Narcise added

According to Dr. Placidie Umugwaneza, Director of HIV Prevention Unit, Rwanda Biomedical Centre. The demand of condom kiosks to as districts is still at large.

“people use to seek condoms later in nights when nobody can see them with even nowhere to buy them to those capable, secondly there is  high demand of condoms kiosks in other districts in general” He said.

Mirembe Jacky a resident of Remera believes that the presence of these kiosks does not only help her in prevention of sexual transmitted diseases but also helps her in family planning.

“These condoms help us in safe sex practices and I also use them as a method of family planning, so be it easy to access them even for free is also useful to me, my husband and the family in general” she said

Rwanda has made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDs, like other countries, Rwanda wants to reach the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals by 2020, meaning 90 per cent of people living with HIV diagnosed, 90 per cent of them are on treatment and 90per cent of those on treatment with a fully suppressed viral load.

“If it was not for a committed health sector and a committed government, HIV/AIDs would be affecting most of us in the worst way due to our stubborn clients. I have been and I am still getting free condoms from these kiosks for the past 3 years and I am grateful, I can at least take care of my life by practicing safer sex while in hunt of money and I am in good health ,” says a sex worker.

Although some of the residents in these HIV high risk areas have benefited from the presence of these kiosks, according to Mabago Nelson, A kiosk operator in migina one of the HIV high risk area in Kigali, believe that the response of citizens in using them is still down mainly on the sides of ladies.

“Men would at least turn up but for the ladies the turn up is still down. At night only sex workers come for them, you find the entire community in fear and shay for turning up for these condoms as they feel guilty. This is one of the challenges the practice is facing.” He said

HIV prevalence has been stable since 2005 and remains at 3per cent among adults aged 15–49 (4per cent among women and 2 per cent among men). The prevalence of HIV is higher in urban areas (6 per cent) than rural areas (2 per cent); HIV prevalence is 6per cent in the capital city of Kigali and 2–3per cent in each of the other provinces. according to 2016 estimates. It is 3.8 per cent in women and 2.3 per cent in men.

Current statistics also show that among women and men who had two or more partners in the last 12 months, only 31% men and 48% women reported use of condom during sexual intercourse.

In the fight against HIV/AIDs, Rwanda introduced several initiatives including the treat all HIV+, free condom kiosks and voluntary counselling and testing. The number of health facilities offering voluntary counseling and testing has increased from 15 in 2001 to 493 in 2013. According to Global AIDS Response Progress Report 2014.

Data generated last year from July 2017 to June 2018, shows that 1,023,043 condoms were distributed through 8 condoms kiosks scattered around Kigali City, Rubavu, Rusizi and Huye With each kiosk distributing almost 800 per day.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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