Most banks are set up to take in deposits and issue loans—but AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) Condom Bank works quite differently. It strives to have nothing left in the vault at the end of the year and it measures success by how many condoms have been given out to shore up any shortages around the world. The government of Sierra Leone was the first to receive a donation of five million free LOVE Condoms from the bank this year.
“With the tragic mudslide outside its capital, Sierra Leone has had a difficult year, and we’re not that far removed from the deadly Ebola outbreak there three years ago,” said AHF Chief of Global Policy, Advocacy & Marketing Terri Ford. “AHF was here to help then and we’re here now. We hope this donation will ease some of the financial burden and ensure an uninterrupted supply of condoms for the country.”
The Sierra Leone National HIV/AIDS Secretariat (NAS) accepted the donation at an official ceremony near the beach in Lakka. According to the agreement between NAS and AHF, the condoms will be distributed free of charge and to those most in need.
“Sierra Leone and AHF have had a wonderful partnership for the last eight years,” said NAS Director General Alhaji Dr. Momodu Sesay. “Our newest initiative’s mission is ‘Ending Epidemics’ and AHF’s generous donation will go a long way towards ensuring our citizens can take the steps necessary to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases.”
Condoms remain the most cost-effective method of preventing the transmission of HIV and other STDs, if people have access to them and use them correctly.
Since 2014, AHF has donated and distributed over 142 million condoms worldwide to government and international agencies that have been unable to acquire them or are experiencing emergency stock-outs.
AHF has been active in Sierra Leone since 2009 and has 5,198 patients in care.