LOS ANGELES--(AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization which currently provides medical care and services to more than 151,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide, will mark International Condom Day—an informal holiday observed on February 13th in conjunction with Valentine’s Day, February 14th—with innovative and educational free condom distribution and safer sex awareness events as well as media campaigns held in 39 cities in 13 countries around the world that will be taking place over the days and nights around the weekend holiday.)--
“After 25 years of AIDS, we have largely failed in HIV prevention, and that is something that can, and must change”
AHF’s International Condom Day events range from free mobile HIV testing offered in many locations around the world as well as a daytime (10am-2pm) ‘Valentine’ condom giveaway to the brunch crowds along bustling Ocean Avenue in Miami Beach, Florida, promoted with a biplane towing a 50 foot long ad banner promoting ‘International Condom Day’ above famed South Beach; special ‘Love Condom’ billboards appearing in Kenya, South Africa and Swaziland coupled with condom giveaways and testing events in each of these three countries; in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, volunteers will distribute 130,000 free condoms at entertainment establishments, nightclubs and city parks; in Veracruz, Mexico, and six other Mexican locations, testing and condom distributions events will draw the public and media attention because the date is so close to Carnival, a popular annual event in Veracruz and throughout Mexico; in Moscow, Russia and in several Russian cities, distribution of free condoms and HIV prevention materials taking place at popular nightclubs, discos, universities, movie theaters, as well as HIV testing; and in Ukraine, condom and testing events in 18 cities including Kiev and Odessa on February 13th and 14th.
“After 25 years of AIDS, we have largely failed in HIV prevention, and that is something that can, and must change,” said Terri Ford, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy. “Our LOVE Condoms have struck a chord with communities around the world. Condoms are a simple, low-cost prevention method that works. Valentine's Weekend is the perfect time to re-enforce the message to, 'Love Yourself, Love Your Partner.' As a non-traditional holiday, International Condom Day also offers an unorthodox, yet highly creative opportunity for groups around the world to get the word out about the importance of condom use and HIV testing. The events taking place in these countries and cities are really amazing, and I want to thank each of our dedicated and enthusiastic partners in this worldwide effort.”
Dr Penninah Iutung Amor, Africa Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation said, "While knowledge of condoms may be high, availability and easy access continues to be a key barrier to consistent condom use. We continue to advocate for condoms to be more available to the public, as condom use is an effective strategy for reducing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. AHF is marking International Condom Day to encourage the public to translate knowledge of HIV/AIDS and condoms into action. Let’s all embrace condom use as one of the primary strategies to reduce HIV transmission. "
Participating Countries/Cities in AHF’s International Condom Day 2011 Celebration
RUSSIA & EASTERN EUROPE
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and services to more than 151,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe. www.aidshealth.org