As the University of Zambia welcomed students for a new semester, AHF Zambia held an innovative condom education workshop and tested hundreds
As the campus of Zambia’s largest university sprang to life with the launch of a new semester, AHF Zambia seized the opportunity to provide education on condom use as well as free HIV testing to the gathered youth at Lusaka’s University of Zambia (UNZA).
AHF Zambia partnered with the university’s HIV/AIDS response unit to mobilize representatives from 30 hostels and educate the youth leaders about condom use through the two-day “Condomize! Zambia” workshop in late November 2013. The program was a joint effort with local partners including United Nations Population Fund Zambia and UNAIDS’ Condom Project Zambia and Condom Inter-Agency Task Team, who launched the “Condomize!” awareness campaign.
Through the workshop, several challenges were identified, primarily that few attendees knew how to properly use condoms, that information about female condoms was nonexistent on campus, and that the supply of male condoms from the government is inconsistent. AHF Zambia and the UNZA HIV/AIDS response unit tackled these challenges by installing four condom dispensers throughout the campus, securing billboard space near the university to post HIV/AIDS education messages for free, and going door to door in each hostel to offer free HIV testing, which resulted in over 300 students being tested and learning their HIV status.
“The whole workshop was filled with innovative approaches that encouraged the use of color, design, technology, display, and artistic performance when educating peers on condom use,” said Ntula Simwinga, AHF Zambia’s Prevention Program Coordinator. “We gave them techniques and tools, and encouraged them to implement condom promotion activities in their respective hostel settings, as well as host culturally appropriate dialogues about condom use for the prevention of HIV/AIDS when they interact with peers.”