AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Zimbabwe turned one this year and to mark the happy occasion, the celebration coincided with the launch of the gold-colored ICON condoms in the country.
The Ministry of Health & Child Care, four major Harare universities and AHF Zimbabwe hosted the event on Sept. 23. The festivities consisted of a multi-team sports tournament – in addition to the ICON launch and anniversary celebration, and were broadcast live on the country’s most popular radio station.
“We are happy today that our partner AHF is launching a new condom here and specifically targeting our young people with this event,” said Ministry of Health & Child Care Director of AIDS and TB Units Dr. O. Mugurungi. “This big step forward will help to ensure they can protect themselves from HIV and other STIs.”
Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates (13.5%) in Sub-Saharan Africa. To raise awareness about HIV and knowing one’s HIV status, the crowd at the celebration was invited to get tested. Over 130 people, including youth, received an HIV tests. One person tested positive and was immediately linked into care. More than 17,000 free condoms were also distributed.
“The most vulnerable group contracting HIV at the highest rate is our young student population,” said AHF Zimbabwe Country Program Director Dr. Enerst Chikwati. “By holding this event here for these students, they’re able to see that by practicing safer sex, they can help secure a future for themselves and their partners.”
AHF has been in working in the country since January 2016 and provides care and treatment to 15,070 patients.