The symposium was held in commemoration of this year’s International Condom Day which coincided with Valentine’s Day on 14 February. The theme for this year’s commemoration was Fashion in Condom.
The event was marked by testing the HIV/AIDS status and the distribution of condoms to students at the MMCET Goderich campus. The International Condom day sought to promote the use of condoms, as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In his welcome address Saidu Kanu, Principal for the college, said the recent increase in the rate of STIs in the country was a concern to all Sierra Leoneans. He added that he could not control the sex life of students, but admonished them to be careful and stay safe in their exploration.
Even though the knowledge on condom usage in Sierra Leone believed was to be highly satisfactorily, statistics indicated that only 12 per cent of sexually active partners made use of condom.
Patricia Ongpin, Strategic Information Advisor for UNAIDS, called on teenagers to always fashion in condom. She advised young people to play safe by utilizing condom for absolute and robust protection.
“MMCET Goderich campus is a youthful population catchment,” Abu Bakarr Koroma, Communications Coordinator for the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat said, adding that it was key for them to engage with students on this year’s International Condom day.
Koroma also encouraged students to play safe and apply the ABC method in their exploration.
Condoms are thin rubber covers that a man wears on his penis during sexual intercourse as a contraceptive or as protection against STIs. Condoms are made from various materials such as latex, non-latex, lambskin and even female condoms.
Condoms, latex and polyurethane versions are the only method available to prevent transmission of STIs and HIV.
International Condom Day is promoted by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV through safe sex practices. Since its inception in 2009, it has been an informal observance celebrated in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.