The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) used the platform of Valentine’s Day, to urge the public to care for and protect their loved ones.
The ministry also encouraged the public, through various educational activities, to condomise; “Condoms are highly effective against the most dangerous of sexually transmitted infections. They are also effective against unintended pregnancies, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. Condom use is also associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer, an HPV-associated disease.”
The premise was to promote correct, consistent condom use as an expression of love and appreciation for one’s partner and loved ones while sensitising the public on matters of promoting outreach testing services in the country, to disseminate information on condom use and HIV/Aids and to evoke public conversations and participations of related matters.
The campaign was driven towards couples and the sexually active, especially the youth (15-35 years).
An unusual addition to the agenda was a flash mob, with popular Equipped Dance Academy taking to the road between the corner of Independence Avenue and Fidel Castro, to foster the campaign via music.
“We are really grateful the ministry involved us in this campaign,” said Stanley Mareka of the Equipped Dance Academy shortly after the campaign.
Additional to the dissemination of condoms and information leaflets were onsite testing and generic public health services, such as male circumcision referrals, as well as HIV and pregnancy tests.
The PharmAccess team consisted of two nurses performing pre-counselling and testing. Testers had to wait for 10 to 20 minutes to attain their results.
A total of 29 females were tested for HIV; two tested positive while 27 tested negative. Also, 19 males were tested; one tested positive while the rest tested negative.