Safer is fun!
- The International Condom Day is observed on February 13th, a day before Valentine’s day.
- Adolescents and Young people aged 15-29 years account for 61% of adult new HIV infections in Kenya.
Today, we hit the outskirts of the Capital city, Nairobi to mark the International Condom Day 2021, where our youth champions distributed free condoms to promote safe sex awareness, prevention of STDs, HIV/AIDs and unintended pregnancies among young people in Kenya. This year’s theme was ‘Safer is fun’
The vibrant team of young peer educators and sexual health advocates went door to door, reaching out to young people and adults in their natural settings with HIV/Aids information and awareness, distributing copies of Straight Talk magazines and boxes of free condoms. They settled on Eastleigh area because of it’s close proximity to the city, and it’s closeness to the unofficial red light zone of Nairobi – Majengo Slums, where reaching commercial sex workers with information on HIV is life saving.
In a recent report by Europe External Program for Africa, Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) in Majengo Slums decried “reduced access to essential health care services, harm reduction services, STI testing and a lack in vital commodities such as condoms and lubricants”. This has the potential to accelerate new HIV/Aids infections in the City
The free condom distribution, sexual health and HIV/Aids awareness drive took our advocates deep into the slums, where vulnerable young people idle away chewing Khat stimulants and imbibing alcohol to while away, because of the reduced job opportunities occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
When used correctly, condoms are highly effective. Condoms are also the only contraceptive method that protects against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and syphilis.
“My voice matters in the prevention of unplanned pregnancies, HIV, and STI’s. It’s amazing to be taking part in the distribution and awareness creation of condoms in Eastleigh,” said Rita Anindo, a youth advocate.
According to Lucy Kombe, also a youth advocate, carrying condoms and dental dams shows you’re taking responsibility for your own sexual health, as well as your partner. “Condoms are a barrier contraception method for preventing pregnancy and STIs”, she noted.
The very receptive community engaged our advocates in an open talk, eager to get more information on how collectively, teen pregnancies and HIV infections could be reduced in the area.
International Condom Day 2021 was held in partnership with AHF, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, Kenya SRHR Alliance and the Centre for the Study of Adolescence.
”My voice matters in the prevention of unplanned pregnancies, HIV, and STI's. It's amazing to be taking part in the distribution and awareness creation of condoms in Eastleigh.Ritah AnindoYouth Advocate