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International Condom Day

Presidência

Even in these times marked by the covid-19 pandemic it is always important to continue to warn about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and the proper use of condoms


International Condom Day is celebrated on February 13th since 2008, an initiative of the AIDS Health Care Foundation, in order to highlight the importance of condoms as a measure to prevent sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. This initiative is carried out in conjunction with the ten signatory cities to the Paris Declaration that pledged to accelerate, until 2030, their local response to HIV and hepatitis infection, with the goal of eliminating these infections as public health problem.

The Polytechnic of Porto is in solidarity with the Directorate-General for Health, noting the event that this year dedicated a campaign to encourage the consistent use of condoms, through the dissemination on social media, websites and free distribution of condoms, alerting the Portuguese population for the proper use of condoms, through the National Health Programs in the areas of HIV and AIDS infection and viral Hepatitis, the Division of Sexual, Reproductive, Child and Youth Health, and the Division of Literacy, Health and Welfare.
During 2019, and according to the notifications that occurred until June 30th, 2020, 778 new cases of HIV infection were diagnosed in Portugal, all registered in individuals aged 15 years and over. In about 65% of cases, the age at the date of diagnosis was between 25 and 49 years old, while 24.2% were diagnosed in individuals over 50 years old. In 97.3% of cases, transmission occurred through sexual intercourse.

In 2020, the free distribution program of preventive and informational materials allowed the distribution of around three million male and female condoms and eight hundred thousand packs of lubricating gel, through non-governmental organizations, educational establishments, health centers, hospitals, prisons, etc.

"This distribution represents an effort to maintain the response in terms of prevention, although there was a reduction in the resources distributed this year marked by the pandemic by COVID-19, which naturally had consequences on the response of services and structures that normally ensure the distribution of preventive materials by the different populations ", admits the DGS.

However, this body defends, "it is important to continue to focus on free and easy access to preventive means, as is the case with condoms, even in the context of a pandemic, due to their high effectiveness in preventing sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies" .

Because of that, it is "imperative to rethink new ways of approaching populations that allow preventive means to reach the people who need them, in strict compliance with the safety and protection measures as far as COVID-19 is concerned", concludes the DGS.

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GCDI |P.PORTO

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