By Elizabeth Nyaguyo
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Zimbabwe has commemorated two international holidays in one day recently in Highfield area.
In an interview with the AHF Prevention Manager Clever Taderera said, this commemorations of the International Condom Day (ICD) and Valentine’s Day has come as a coincidence but it has helped the Organisation to assist many people to have safe sex on this day by distributing condoms.
“We know that February is the month of love so we want people to love and care at the same time we know that mostly people would want to observe this day through sexual activities.
“We are saying that people should engage in safe sex and it is thereby utilising condoms so we are saying that the ICD is of great significance.
“This day is there also to create awareness in terms of distributing condoms as you have seen that we have a theme ‘always in fashion’ we are trying to continuously drum up the uptake of both males and female condoms,” he said.
He went on to say that apart from people being given condoms in communities like Highfield there are centres of excellence they opened as AHF so as to make sure people get the services they desired.
“Our centres of excellence are playing a critical role in the sense that this is where HIV management is actually taken up so we have people from different regions would want to access quality services in terms of HIV they are free to access ARVs.
“We also provide condoms and we make sure that condoms are available in all our centres of excellence we are trying to ready improve or enhance the quality of HIV in our centres of excellence,” he said.
The District AIDS Coordinator (DAC) of Southwestern District under National AIDS Council (NAC) Charles Mufiri, said that they have chosen areas in Highfield such as Gazaland, Spacemen, Mashwede, Lusaka among other areas because statistics has proven that these areas are hotspots.
“Today we have chosen Lusaka because it’s a busy area, market place so we are targeting hundreds of people who are coming in to buy food especially in the morning.
“There is also Gazaland and our statistics normally shows that in these areas that is where HIV infections are very high because it’s very busy and there is a small area called Cherima were sex workers are.
“We have chosen the Mashwede area because it is known for entertainment and that is where many people come for refreshments so our target is to catch those people and distribute condoms to them.
“We really wanted to go to Ushewekunze as well because it’s an underdeveloped area with cheap houses,no clinics and even good roads so they will be struggling to go and find medical services in Glenora and Highfield,” he said.
“Always in Fashion is our theme and it simply means that we are not selecting we are not choosing we are giving everyone condoms we are not saying they should be given to sex workers or key populations only but to every sexual active people ,” he said.