Zimbabweans Spent $7m On Condoms To Battle HIV/Aids In 2015

Zimbabwe distributed 115 million condoms last year as the country intensified its battle against HIV/Aids.
The 110 million male and five million female condoms were distributed by the government with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
According to an official spending report for 2015, the condoms were valued at $7 million.
Last year, the government and the UNFPA launched a campaign dubbed ‘Condomise’ to encourage young people to use contraceptives.

UNFPA senior adviser Bidia Deperthes said the campaign was driven by the need to
encourage safe sex especially among young people.
“People are going to have sex, with or without a condom,” she was quoted saying by NewsDay newspaper.

“We just want to help people make the right decision for safer sex.”
Zimbabwe’s HIV prevalence rate has dropped by 30 per cent since 2009, with 14.7 per cent of the population living with the virus.
The most affected is the 15-49 year age group.

Meanwhile, the government has intensified efforts to get as many Zimbabweans as possible tested for HIV as a preventive measure, NewsDay reported.
Dr Owen Mugurungi, a government official, said HIV testing remained one of the country’s most strategic routes to curb Aids.

“People who know their status are less likely to transmit HIV and our focus should, therefore, remain on getting as many people as possible to be tested,” he said.
“The country will this month initiate a $23 million self-testing programme called STAR, which will run for two years on a pilot basis and close to 400,000 people will take part.”
Zimbabwe remains one of the countries with the highest HIV/Aids burden in the world and the crisis has been worsened by a declining economy.
The country’s Aids response is mainly funded through local resources and international donors.