Government has expressed worry over the country’s dependence on donors for the supply of condoms saying they would like more to be done with local resources.
In an interview with 263Chat, Director of AIDS and TB in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Owen Mugurungi said the over-reliance on donors for supply of condoms especially in hot-spot areas was undesirable as it threatened the consistency aspect of the campaign on condom use to reduce new HIV infections.
“Right now the country depends on donors for supply of condoms in our hot spot areas but we would like more to be done with our local resources obviously,” said Dr Mugurungi.
According to Mugurungi, the uptake of condoms locally is difficult to measure as a person can take condoms and decide not to use them but however said they are continuing with campaigns to encourage people to always protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections.
“We continue to carry out campaigns and disseminate information to encourage people to always protect themselves from these sexually transmitted infections(STIs),” said Dr Mugurungi.
Consistent and correct condom use is one of the recommended ways for preventing new HIV infections.
Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa at 13.3%, with 1.3 million people living with HIV in 2017.
According to Global Information and Education on HIV and AIDS, the availability and distribution of condoms in Zimbabwe is good, with 109.4 million male condoms and 5.6 million female condoms distributed in 2015.
This equates to 33 male condoms per man per year, making Zimbabwe one of only five countries to meet or exceed the United Nations Population Fund’s regional benchmark of 30 male condoms per man per year.
Use of condoms in multiple concurrent partnerships (when one or both partners have sexual relationships with other people) remains low.