As the world is set to commemorate the International Condom Day on February 13, it is estimated that every year, more than one million people acquire sexually transmitted infection (STIs) and estimated 80 million unintended pregnancies globally.

The National AIDS Control Council will lead the county to commemorate the International Condom Day (ICD) on February 13th – a day before Valentines Day themed Safer is Fun, reminding us about condoms, how effective they are in preventing unwanted pregnancies and STIs including HIV.  Condoms are proven to be 98% effective in preventing STIs and HIV.

According to the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework 2020/21-2024/25, about 1.5 million people are living with HIV in Kenya and the main mode of HIV transmission in the country is through sexual contact and accounts for 80% of all new HIV infections.  Adolescents and Young people aged 15-29 years account for 61% of adult new HIV infections.

Kenya is committed to reduce new HIV infections and is focusing on prioritized populations in areas where there is concentrated epidemic and mixed epidemic typologies. Lack of use of condom is attributed to higher HIV prevalence in these priority populations that include Adolescents and Young People, Key populations, people in discordant sexual partnerships and those in vulnerable populations such as the internally displaced persons, long distance trackers and people living with disabilities.

Proper use of condoms is proven to contribute in reduction of HIV transmission and has stopped the wider spread of HIV in places where the epidemic is concentrated.  The global modelling analysis from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that condoms use has averted around 50 million new HIV infections since the onset of the HIV epidemic. The National AIDS Control Council is about to launch the Condom Strategy Plan.  The strategy will provide a national framework to guide implementation of a comprehensive condom program through advocacy and promotion, distribution and proper disposal and structured monitoring and evaluation strategies to promote the uptake and consistent use of condoms.

The invention of condoms can be traced back in 3000 BC by King Minos of Crete.  Condoms have been a topic of nosiness throughout history and the idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient times and used to prevent venereal diseases. Today, condoms still act as a barrier to STIs including HIV infections by preventing bodily fluids such as semen and vaginal fluid that can contain HIV.

Join the National AIDS Control Council and partners as we will be celebrating the International Condom Day in 5 counties – Makueni, Garissa, Homabay and Kiambu with the national event being held in Taita-Taveta County.

As we celebrate the International Condom Day on 13 February, let us remember that Safer is Fun, with a condom!  Happy Valentine Day!

FAST FACTS ON REDUCING CONDOM FAILURE

To minimize the risk of condom failure and maximize the effectiveness of condoms, correct use includes:

  • Finding an external condom with the right fit and feel (not too small or large).
  • Storing condoms at room temperature and regularly replacing condoms that are kept in a wallet, purse or pocket.
  • Checking the expiry date and discarding expired condoms.
  • Making sure the packaging is not damaged, and carefully opening the package without using sharp objects.
  • Using a new condom for every act of sex.
  • Using a new condom with every sex partner.
  • Using a condom for the entire act of sex, from start to finish.
  • Putting the condom on and taking it off correctly.

 

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