The Association of Women Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN) has called on the federal government to support women living with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
This request was made by the programme officer, ASWHAN, Faruna Benedette, at a sensitization campaign in Abuja during the weekend, as part of activities to mark the 2018, World Condom Day.
Speaking shortly after the association advocacy and awareness campaign across major streets in the nation’s capital, Faruna said that the distribution of the condoms would help to increase awareness on the use of condoms and its role in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
She said that the day reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone, adding that there is still need to raise more funds, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education on the scourge.
The programme officer averred that the day was also set aside to encourage sex education for children by their parents, so that when they face difficult situations they can speak out, as research shows that children are often victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Also speaking to LEADERSHIP the monitoring and evaluation officer, ASWHAN, Mrs Esther James, said condoms basically prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) as well as HIV, and that is why the association join the rest of the world to celebrate the day.
“We are preaching the use of condoms to reduce HIV and AIDS transmission as well as unplanned pregnancy to the barest minimum.
“Today we are not out to promote sex or promiscuity as maybe perceived by some people, what we are doing is sensitising Nigerians on the dangers of unprotected sex.
“Our message to Nigerians most especially the youths and the married is to use condoms for prevention of unwanted pregnancy, STD’s and HIV.
“For the married couples condoms can be used for child spacing, because some women reacts to some family planning methods.
“We are also promoting the use of female condoms which is very effective although, it is relatively new, we are encouraging Nigerian women to use it,” she said.
Mrs James urged the federal government to do more, in terms of funding sensitization programme for adolescents and youths.
“We will be glad if the federal government empowers women, especially women living with HIV/AIDS.
“We also seek for intervention for youths who have problems with sexual and reproductive health so as to make their lives more meaningful,” she added.