A light-hearted yet essential reminder of the ongoing significance of condoms in preserving sexual health

International Condom Day is an opportunity to promote awareness. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

International Condom Day is an opportunity to promote awareness. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 14, 2024


International Condom Day, established by the Aids Healthcare Foundation in 2009 and celebrated every year on February 13, emphasises the importance of having educational condom workshops to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

The day is a fun, tongue-in-cheek way to encourage individuals to be careful when intimate with their partners. South Africa is one of those countries where the rate of HIV remains high, with an estimated 7,7 million individuals infected. Initiatives such as International Condom Day are critical in fighting the pandemic.

Despite continuing attempts by a wide range of stakeholders to address concerns on their own, continuing issues such as high rates of teenage pregnancy and new HIV transmissions among sexually active youth highlight the importance of comprehensive action.

Nonhlanhla Mthethwa, a Voluntary Health Promoter Officer, emphasised the need for establishing Condom Day events.

"Condoms play a crucial role in preventing STDs, unplanned pregnancies and the spread of HIV. We need to have widespread conversations about sexual health, and events like International Condom Day can help reduce the stigma associated with condoms.

"Let's work together to promote safe-sex and health practices. We have hope that 2025 will be different from 2024," said Mthethwa.

The country has made incredible progress in fighting HIV/Aids by implementing effective preventive programmes, increasing access to antiretroviral medication and reducing stigma.

However, difficulties remain, especially for populations at risk, such as the youth and women. Condoms not only protect against STDs and unexpected pregnancies but also allow people to take control of their sexual health.

A Tembisa residents, Thabo Zono, said that he thinks International Condom Day comes to remind him to keep it safe and protected as he celebrates Valentine's Day.

He further said that though many didn't celebrate the day because of a lack of awareness of its purpose, celebrations of such days can vary in scale and publicity depending on various factors such as local initiatives, cultural attitudes and media coverage priorities.

Saturday Star

Nobukhosi Tshabalala

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