By Lumbiwe Mwanza
African young positive network (AY+), West Africa board member, Aaron Sunday says there is an urgent need for African countries to strengthen demand for and supply of condoms and water-based lubricant in order to strengthen the fight against HIV.
According to the 2018 Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa Condom use among young people and adolescents remains relatively low.
Mr. Sunday explains that To achieve the global Fast-Track Target of reducing the number of new HIV infections to fewer than 500 000 by 2020, more political commitment and increased investment in HIV prevention, including condom promotion among adolescent girls, is needed.
“condom use negotiations among adolescent girls is still a challenge but increasing awareness messages on the use will help strengthen the fight against HIV ” Mr. Sunday said.
Mr. Sunday said that HIV prevention efforts must be reinvigorated if the world is to stay on the Fast-Track to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
The promotion of consistent use of condoms is a critical component of HIV combination prevention.
“Condom utilization complements all other HIV prevention methods, including a reduction in the number of sexual partners, voluntary medical male circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and treatment as prevention for discordant couples” mr Sunday said.
He further disclosed that they are looking at ways of decentralizing skills training programs aimed at helping persons with HIV to be more ambitious towards contributing to national development.
“I have observed that young people especially persons with HIV fail to fit in society thereby indulge themselves in anti social activities but the skills training programs will help them make informed decisions” Mr. Sunday said.
He said next month on the 7-8 June 2019 over 50 adolescents in Nigeria will be engaged in a skills training program aimed at mentoring them on communication leadership.