AIDS HealthCare Foundation (AHF) says it has distributed more than 129,000 free condoms at the just concluded Expo held at Gikondo grounds in Kigali City.
Of these, more than 129,000 were provided with condoms, including 85% of men and 15% of women. The condoms distributed to the fair were part of the AHF-Rwanda program to help fight the AIDS epidemic, which is so deadly.
Anastase Nzeyimana, a Prevention Officer at AHF-Rwanda, says they went to the Expo 2021 to fight the HIV / AIDS epidemic.
“At this fair we brought women and Male condoms which means that, those who need them will be available to us for free, so using them you feel is important because we will help them to avoid sexually transmitted infections,” he said.
Umuhoza Chartine, who is 22 years old, is one of the participants in the Expo, went through her AFH-Rwanda workplace and opted to exchange women’s condoms.
“So the reason I chose to take a female condom is because I’m not ashamed to use it, because the condom protects against many sexually transmitted infections including the HIV virus. Instead, I urge everyone not to be afraid to use it because it’s safe to use,” she said.
The co-ordinator of the HIV / AIDS Program in the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Rusanganwa Léon Pierre, says that partnering with AHF-Rwanda in the program to provide condoms for women and men at Expo 2021, is that Rwandans need to have a healthier life.
“It would be great to see a partner like AHF-Rwanda because they have come up with condoms for women and men, which will help the family in contraception and prevent the spread of unprotected sexually transmitted infections including HIV,” he said.
Rwanda has estimated that over 220,000 people are HIV positive out of an estimated 12 million total population with a prevalence of 3% nationwide and the highest numbers being in Kigali with over 54,000 cases.
The ambitious 95-95-95 strategy, announced by UNAIDS in 2014, aims at ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 by achieving 95% diagnosed among all people living with HIV (PLHIV), 95% on antiretroviral therapy among diagnosed, and 95% virally suppressed among treated.
Rwanda is at 86% on the first target and that is where more work is needed, but has also surpassed the second target (97%) and at 90% on the third target.