World Condom Day: Nigerians Share Thoughts

Favour Ozioma Ogbodo, Jumoke Olasunkanmi

World Condom Day, celebrated annually on February 13th, is an international initiative to raise awareness and promote safe sexual practices through the use of condoms. This day serves as a reminder of the critical role condoms play in preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and unplanned pregnancies.

Initiated in 1987 by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, World Condom Day has since evolved into a global platform to destigmatize condom use, particularly among young people, and empower individuals to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

In a recent interview conducted by the African Health Report in Abuja, young people shared their perceptions of condoms and their significance in maintaining sexual health.

Mr. Benjiz John, a 29-year-old Professional Chef shares his views on condoms

“I heard about International Condom Day from my colleague at work, condom is a means to get safe sex and protection, I learned about condoms in my university days.

“Though I am an advocate of safe sex I can have or will have unprotected with my partner so long as I trust my partner. I believe there is a drug for every sickness out there these days and I also undergo medical check-ups.”

Uti, a 26-year-old, emphasized the protective nature of condoms, stating, “For me, condom means protection.” She highlighted their effectiveness in preventing STDs and unwanted pregnancies, affirming her commitment to using them consistently.

“For me, condom means protection. I have not had unprotected sex because I know the importance of condoms, I know it protects from STDs and STIs and prevents unwanted pregnancy. I had heard that pregnancy although rare is still possible with a condom but I have not experienced it.” she spoke.

Isaac, another participant, acknowledged the importance of condoms in safeguarding against STDs but admitted to occasional unprotected sex, citing trust in his partner’s status. He emphasized the importance of checking for the production and expiry date of condoms to ensure their efficacy and safety.

“Condom is mainly for protection against STDs, I know the importance of condoms but I have had sex without it but it was because I knew my partner’s status.

To know if a condom is good, you have to check the production and expiry date and make sure that it is not expired.

A pack of condoms is now N300, it is expensive but still essential for safety.”

Stephen Tobi echoed similar sentiments, underscoring the role of condoms in reducing the risk of infections and unwanted pregnancies. He emphasized his commitment to safe sex practices and advocated for a thorough inspection of condom packaging to detect any signs of damage or tampering.

“Condoms help protect against the risk of passing infections from one person to another. It is important as unprotected sex can lead to unwanted pregnancy and STDs. I do not have unsafe sex because I know the risk that comes with it.

To ensure that a condom is safe to use, it’s good to check the expiry date and check the packaging for leaks. You should also be careful when opening it so you don’t tear it.”

Samblaze also acknowledged the importance of condoms in preventing both pregnancy and STD transmission. Like others, he stressed the significance of checking for expiration dates and package integrity to ensure the reliability of condoms.

“Condom is a thin pouch that keeps sperm away from the vagina, it also helps to prevent the transmission of sexual diseases.

I have had unprotected sex before but that was when I was young and naive now, I know better and I practice safe sex at all times.

You know a condom is safe when it is not expired and there are no holes or piercings on the package.”

Jacob Onyemaechi, a pharmacist in Abuja, shed light on the accessibility of condoms despite price fluctuations due to inflation. He noted that while the cost of condoms has increased, people continue to purchase them consistently, recognizing their importance in promoting sexual health.

“The cheapest pack you can get now is N300, there are more expensive brands that sell for N500 and more. Condoms used to cost N50 to N100 and even N150.

But despite the increment, people still buy, you know it is an essential part of people’s lives, particularly young people and it should be encouraged after all it will help them practice safer sex.”

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