Shoppers and travellers at Lusaka City Market and Inter-City Bus Station yesterday received a Valentine’s Day surprise when an energetic “Flashmob” of 37 young advocates moved through the area to distribute more than 72,900 free Love branded condoms and offered a free HIV test to 386 people.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest Global AIDS organisation spearheaded the move.
The initiative was designed to mark International Condom Day and was part of a drive worldwide event to give away nearly half a million free condoms to the public in 21 countries, along with important messages on HIV prevention.
In Zambia, some 30 young people gathered for the dynamic rapid-fire distribution which was accompanied by a free HIV testing service.
The aim was to draw attention to the benefits of condoms and also of lubrication during sexual intercourse in order to prevent condom breakages.
AHF Prevention Program Coordinator Ntula Simwinga explained that the demand for condoms has not been adequately met worldwide, and that the aim of the Flashmob event was to highlight that.
And AHF Country Program Manager for Zambia, Victoria Kalota stressed that the correct and consistent use of condoms was an important way to prevent the transmission of HIV and AIDS.
Ms Kalota said AHF wanted to take that message to the heart of the community in central Lusaka, in a fresh, youthful manner that appealed to a new generation of sexually active men and women.
She said the organization’s emphasis in 2013 is getting back to “ABC” (Abstinence, Being faithful to one partner and always using a Condom).
The annual event organised by AHF strives to promote condom use as a way to prevent new HIV infections and help partners protect themselves and their loved ones from sexually transmitted diseases.
AHF also encourages individuals to come forward and test for HIV so that all HIV-positive people can receive full care and treatment.
In addition to condom use, AHF advocates an increased focus on sexual abstinence and being faithful, in conjunction with convenient free HIV testing and universal access to anti-retroviral treatment as an integral part of the global fight against HIV/AIDS.