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 safeguarding people against STDs and other infections.
However, with regards to perception and attitude on the 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 the accessibility of condoms 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 condoms in their locality while the North-Central and North-West accounted for the lowest with 77 percent each. When asked if condoms 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 patterns 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 patterns 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 geo-political zones showed a majority of residents 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 a 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 a 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 a 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