International Condom Day 2020: Almost three in 10 Nigerians use condom regularly – NOIPolls

In commemoration of the International Condom Day (ICD), NOIPolls in partnership with Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) conducted a nationwide public opinion poll regarding condom accessibility and use in Nigeria. The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of adult Nigerians (92 percent) are aware of what a condom is and what it is used for. This is heartwarming considering the pivotal role condom plays in family planning and in safe-guarding people against STDs and other infections. However, with regards to perception and attitude on condom, 63 percent of Nigerians stated that the first thing that comes to their mind when they hear the word condom is sexual pleasure, while 45 percent disclosed that they instantly think of promiscuity when they see someone with a condom.

Further findings revealed that accessibility of condom is high, for instance, the survey showed that 82 percent of Nigerians mentioned that it is very easy to purchase condom in their locality. Analysis by geographical location showed that the South-East region (94 percent) had more respondents who stated that it is very easy to purchase condom in their locality while the North-Central and North-West accounted for the lowest with 77 percent each. When asked if condom should be free, 61 percent said yes, while 39 percent answered negatively. Of the proportion who think it should not be free, 36 percent specifically mentioned that it should be sold ₦50.00. With regards to the preferred outlet to purchase a condom, a larger number of the respondents (69 percent) preferred to access condoms from either a chemist or pharmacy.

Opinion on general consumption pattern revealed that 83 percent of adult Nigerians believe that people should use condom. Of this proportion, 58 percent mentioned that people should use condom mainly to avoid contracting STDs. However, opinion on personal consumption pattern showed that only 34 percent of Nigerians acknowledged that they use condom. It is important to note that this is 34 percent of the general population as the survey did not screen for condom use among high risk individuals. Of the 34 percent of the general population that use condoms, 64 percent stated that they use it mainly for family planning and to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Interestingly, analysis by geopolitical zones showed majority of resident in the North-East (98 percent) use condoms mainly for family planning and for preventing unwanted pregnancy while 47 percent and 38 percent of respondents from the South-South and South-East respectively use condoms mainly for protection against STDs. By age, respondents aged 61 years and above use condoms for protection against STDs while understandably, respondents aged 18 – 35 (66 percent) and 36 – 60 (63 percent) use condoms for family planning and prevention of unwanted pregnancy. Of the 34 percent of the general population that use condoms, only 28 percent of them use condoms consistently.

Of the 66 percent of the general population that stated that they do not use condom, the main reason cited by 34 percent was that it is against their religious belief. Analysis by geographical location showed that the North-West region (78 percent) and the North-East region (74 percent) had more respondents who said that they do not use condom. It is important to note that 17 percent of those who do not use condoms say they do so because they either do not like it or that it is not pleasurable and the South-West (25 percent) and the North-West (24 percent) had the most respondents who stated these reasons.

Lastly, to foster publicity of condom in the society, 52 percent of the respondents believe that it is appropriate to promote the use of condom to Nigerians form the age of 18, while most of the respondents (78 percent) disclosed that they are likely to recommend the use of condom to someone. Therefore, it is important that advocacy groups and other concerned stakeholders create awareness on the negative effects of not using condom as emphasized by 58 percent of the respondents. This awareness should be centered more on Nigerians who believe it is against their religious belief and those who believe it promotes promiscuity. Interventions such as providing free condoms could also help increase the level of consistent condom use in the country for effective prevention of HIV and STDs, especially for individuals who find condoms to be inappropriate. These are some of the key findings from the condom poll conducted in the week commencing February 3rd, 2020.

Brief Background

Condom is a barrier device used during sexual intercourse to reduce the chances of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. For instance, the usage of condom has been proven to effectively decrease the rate of transmitting diseases like gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomonas, hepatitis B and HIV.[1]

The International Condom Day (ICD) is observed annually on the 13th of February and promotes safer sex awareness in a fun and creative way while encouraging people to use condoms. According to data report, Nigeria needs about 600 million condoms annually. Closing this gap requires leveraging the relative strengths of all sectors – public, media, social marketing and commercial partners to enhance the sustainability of condom promotion, especially for key population groups in high burden areas of Nigeria. Against this background, NOIPolls in partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) conducted a nationwide public opinion poll regarding condom accessibility and use in Nigeria.

Survey Findings

The first question sought to gauge awareness of Nigerians regarding condom and the result revealed that an over whelming majority of Nigerians (92 percent) are conscious of what a condom is, while 8 percent claimed that they are not aware of what it is. The importance of condom in preventing HIV/AIDS and STDs cannot be over-emphasized hence the need to continue efforts at the awareness of condom particularly for the benefit of those who claimed not to be aware of what it is.

Furthermore, respondents were asked of their first impression when they hear the word condom and the findings showed that most of the respondents (63 percent) think of sexual pleasure whenever they hear the word condom. Others things mentioned include ‘protection against unwanted pregnancy’ (11 percent), ‘promiscuity’ (10 percent), protection against sexually transmitted disease (9 percent) and those who said they get irritated (4 percent) as well as respondents who claimed that nothing comes to their mind (3 percent) when they hear the word condom.

Similarly, respondents were asked what they think when they see someone with condom and the survey result revealed that 48 percent of respondents specified promiscuity while 45 percent stated they think of being protective when they see someone with a condom amongst other responses.

With regards to preference in where to get condoms, most Nigerians (69 percent) mentioned that they would prefer to get their condoms from a chemist/pharmacy. Respondents from the South-West zone had more people who prefer to get a condom from a chemist/pharmacy. Others outlets mentioned include ‘Health facility’ (20 percent), Supermarket (6 percent), Hotel (3 percent) and kiosk (2 percent).

Perception on general consumption pattern revealed that majority of adult Nigerians acknowledged that people should use condom however, 17 percent responded negatively when asked the same question.

Out of the 83 percent who agreed people use condoms, 58 percent were of the opinion that people should use condoms mainly to prevent STDs. This is followed by 19 percent who said it is to prevent contracting HIV/AIDS while 16 percent stated that the use of condom prevents early pregnancy. Also, 7 percent think people should use condom solely for family planning.

On the other hand, of the 17 percent who disapproved the use of condom, 24 percent gave reason stating that condoms are not reliable while another 24 percent mentioned that it is because condoms promote immorality. Other reasons mentioned include ‘it is a tool for sin’ (18 percent), ‘it doesn’t protect totally’ (14 percent), ‘it is not satisfactory’ (11 percent) and those that said it is a personal decision (9 percent).

Although 83 percent of adult Nigerians previously stated that they think people should use condom, when respondents were asked if they use condom, the result revealed that only 34 percent of the respondents admitted that they use condom. Analysis by gender indicated expectedly that there are more male (39 percent) than female (28 percent) who stated that they use a condom. Also, evaluation by age-group showed that Nigerians aged 18 – 35 years had more respondents who acknowledged that they use of condom. On the other hand, 66 percent of the general population claimed that they do not use a condom and respondents from the North-West had more people who said that they do not use a condom (78 percent).

Respondents who admitted that they use condom were further probed to give reasons why they use condom. Family planning and to protect against unwanted pregnancy (32 percent each) topped the lists of reasons given for the use of condom. An evaluation by gender indicated that there are more male (35 percent) than female (28 percent) respondents who disclosed that they use condom mainly for family planning. Further analysis by geographical location showed that while the North-West zone had more respondents who mentioned that they use it primarily for family planning, the South-East zone had more people saying that they use condom to protect against unwanted pregnancy.

Correspondingly, of the 66 percent of respondents who said they do not use condom, 33 percent said that is majorly because it is against their religion, while 19 percent it is because their spouse does not like it amongst other reasons. It is important to note that 17 percent of those who do not use condoms say they do so because they either do not like it or that it is not pleasurable and the South-West (25 percent) and the North-West (24 percent) had the most respondents who stated these reasons.

To foster greater awareness of condom, most Nigerians (52 percent) believe that it is appropriate to promote the use of condom to Nigerians from the age of 18. Analysis by age-group showed that respondents aged between 18 – 35 years had more respondents who said that it is appropriate to promote the use of condom to Nigerians who are aged 18 years.

Lastly, 58 percent of Nigerians stated that creating awareness on the effects of not using a condom would go a long way in encouraging people to use condom. The South-South zone had the highest number of respondents (72 percent) who supported this statement. Also, 31 percent laid emphasis on ensuring the awareness is carried out in rural areas, which could be attributed to lack of adequate health information among people living in rural areas.

In conclusion, the survey has shown that more than 9 in 10 adult Nigerians (92 percent) are aware of what a condom is and what it is used for. This is encouraging given the essential role condom plays in preventing HIV/AIDS and other STDs. With respect to perception and attitude on condom, 63 percent of Nigerians admitted that the first thing that comes to their mind when they hear the word condom is sexual pleasure, while 45 percent disclosed that they instantly think of promiscuity when they see someone with a condom. Opinion on general consumption pattern revealed that 83 percent of adult Nigerians believe that people should use condom. However, opinion on personal consumption showed that only 34 percent of Nigerians admitted that they use condom. Of this number, only 28 percent of them stated that they use condoms consistently. It is important to note that this is 34 percent of the general population as the survey did not screen for condom use among high risk individuals. The major reason cited among those that do not use condoms is that it is against their religion (34 percent).

Furthermore, to create better awareness of condom, 52 percent of respondents believe that it is appropriate to promote the use of condom to Nigerians from the age of 18and it is reassuring to know that 78 percent of Nigerians disclosed that they are likely to recommend the use of condom to someone. Finally, 58 percent requested that advocacy groups and other concerned stakeholders should create awareness on the negative effects of not using condom. Provisions of free condoms by these agencies could also help increase consistent condom use in the country.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week commencing February 3rd, 2020. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geo-political regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s tele density put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria.

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