Why women must be bold on condom use

14Feb 2020
Henry Mwangonde
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Why women must be bold on condom use

​​​​​​​ALTHOUGH Tanzania has made strides in reducing new HIV infections, women need to play decision-making role on the use of condom if the country is to eliminate Aids.

For, although influential in deciding whether or not to use condoms, they have withdrawn from that responsibility, leaving it to men who normally choose not to use protection.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the commemoration of the International Condom Awareness Day, Director for Social Enterprise at T-MARC Tanzania which promotes the use of condoms Flavian Ngole said Tanzania stands a better chance of ending Aids and other sexually transmitted infections if women used their influence to discourage unprotected intercourse.

“Women have relegated this responsibility to men; they even feel shy to buy condoms while in reality their role is weightier in decision-making,” he said.

The day is taking an opportune time to promote the use of condoms and educate people about the need for practicing safe sex at all times. The aim is to get more people comfortable with purchasing, carrying, talking about and using condoms during sexual activity.

With the theme ‘focusing on the importance of consent and testing of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV/AIDS and unintended pregnancy between partners’, the day’s is celebrated on 13th February each year a day before St. Valentine’s Day.

“We all know the enthusiasm that comes along the day across the globe. We think it is a good time to promote healthy and safe relationships and reminding people about the risks of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. In short, we use the day as a reminder to everyone to always ensure that they practice safe sex,” he added.

The day is also used to fight against such stigma which is putting the lives of many people including youth and women at high risk.

According to him, this was the right time to sensitize the society on the need for both men and women to be free in making their consent on condom use in order to protect themselves.

  1. should also be encouraged and supported to go for voluntary STDs testing and support thereafter,” he added.

He said T-MARC Tanzania has been working with the Government of Tanzania and other partners to improve public health and the well-being of Tanzanians through forming up strong partnerships and programmes to ensure them with accessible, affordable and quality services and products.

Tanzania has managed to reduce the rate of new HIV/Aids infections by 20.6 per cent among adults and 31.3 per cent among children below 15 years old from 2010 to 2018.