Low condom use among youths worries NAC

Sat, 28 Jan 2017 12:36:56 +0000


LOW condom use is a major cause of HIV infections in the country particularly among young people where only 40 percent of girls and 49 percent of boys aged between 15 and 24 years use protection during sexual encounter, says National AIDS Council Acting Director General John Mwale.

Mr Mwale said that HIV prevention efforts would continue and observed that although the Zambian population based HIV Impact Assessment report of 2016 had indicated a slight decline of the national HIV prevalence rate from 13.3 percent to 11.6 percent as annual rate of HIV infections was still unacceptably high.

He said this in Lusaka yesterday when he received 250 units of condom dispenser’s valued at K 370,000 from the United Nations Population Fund that effective condom programming and promotion was identified as one of the high impact interventions in the 2017 to 2021 National HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (NASF) among others such as medical male circumcision and elimination of mother to child transmission.

“We are aware that low condom use is among the key drivers of HIV infections in Zambia particularly among young people where only 40 percent of girls and 49 percent of boys aged from 15 to 24 use condoms,” he said.

Mr Mwale said in order to ensure that condoms were readily available where they were on demand, NAC was of the view that a total market approach be undertaken and help distribute the subsidised, socially and commercial condoms.

He said that a clear segmentation of the market and clear understanding of the space in which the condoms were accessed was vital if such investment of the production of the dispensers would yield the desired results.

And representing Ministry of Health permanent secretary, technical services Jabbin Mulwanda,   ministry assistant director Dr Wezi Kaonga implored NAC to carryout mapping and distribute the condoms to areas in dire need of the product.

Meanwhile, UNFPA resident representative Mary Otieno said that condom use remained key to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

And AIDS Healthcare Foundation national medical director Louson Simapuka, pledged to support Government’s effort to combat the HIV/AIDS scourge.


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