A new survey has shown that only 34 per cent of Nigerians use condoms for sex.
The survey, titled ‘Condom accessibility and use in Nigeria’ was carried out by NOIpolls, in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and AIDS HealthCare Foundation (AHF).
The survey was released to mark the International Condom Day (ICD), which is observed annually on February 13 through Valentine’s Day, February 14, to promote safer sex awareness, by encouraging people to use condoms.
Announcing the result in Abuja on Wednesday, the Executive Director of NOIpolls, Chike Nwangwu, said though 83 per cent of Nigerians believe that condoms should be used, only 34 per cent agree that they actually use condoms.
“The findings showed that 92 per cent of Nigerians know about condoms, while 62 per cent perceive that condom is used for sexual pleasure, which is the measure that comes to their mind when they see or hear about condom.
“82 per cent of Nigerians find it easy to purchase condom, 10 per cent find it fairly easy, which makes it a total of 92 per cent, who find it easy to purchase a condom,” he said.
He said only 26 per cent use condoms for protection against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Mr Nwangwu said the survey was done using questionnaires and was translated into the four major Nigeria languages; Pidgin, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.
He said some of the questions were open-ended and allowed for multiple choice that will give people room for them to express what they want.
NOIPolls is a country-specific polling service in the West African region, in technical partnership with Gallup (USA) to develop opinion research in Nigeria.
Share Love, not HIV
In his remarks, the Director General of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, said the result of the survey would enable the government identify gaps and how to bridge them in tackling HIV/AIDS.
He applauded the AHF and NOI for doing a significant job despite the difficulties attached to asking questions around sexual activities.
He also said the agency encouraged people to stay away from risk taking, especially at this period of valentine.
“We encourage people to share love and not share HIV. That is why we promote the use of preventive measures to reduce HIV transmission. It is our target by UNAIDS globally,” he said.
Mr Aliyu noted that the awareness creation on the use of condom is not to promote promiscuity among Nigerians.
“We are not promoting promiscuity, we are promoting prevention, morality and we want people to be responsible.
“We encourage people to be responsible but in the process HIV prevention is very key and should be put under control within the shortest time possible.
“So all hands must be on deck, to put HIV under control and ensure it is not a threat to our national security, health and productivity,” he said.
Bridging condom gap
AHF, a Non Governmental Organisation, said it will be distributing over 250,000 free condoms to mark the 2020 ICD.
This is part of its effort to bridge Nigeria’s annual condom gap of about 600 million, he said.
The Country Programme Director, AHF-Nigeria, Echey Ijezie, said the organisation has so far donated over eight million free condoms nationwide since 2011.
“Recently we made it clear in conversation with NACA that Nigeria can further benefit from the ‘AHF Condom Bank’ in bridging the Nation’s condom deficits.
“Getting free condoms to people who need them has always been a priority for AHF, and we’re stepping up our advocacy even more around the world in 2020 to help break down barriers to access.
“Consequently condoms remain the most cost-effective option we have for preventing HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancies,’’ he said.