COMMUNITY development deputy minister Jean Kapata says female condoms are not very well known.
Kapata yesterday said the Global Female Condom Day, which was commemorated in her constituency, was a day of education and advocacy to increase awareness, access and use of female condoms.
"Although female condoms play a vital role in improving reproductive health and that they are the only method available today designed to offer woman-initiated, dual protection from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, they are not very well known," Kapata, who was being represented by the chief community development officer Nasiba Nyambe, said.
She said female condoms were also not available or accessible in many places.
Kapata said female condoms were a powerful tool for the prevention of HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancies as they not only empower women but also protect them.
United Nations Population Fund assistant representative Sibeso Mululuma said an estimated 90 per cent of adult infections were related to unprotected heterosexual activity either with a casual partner, a long-standing partner, or a concurrent partner.
Mululuma said one of the key drivers of HIV in Zambia was low and inconsistent condom use, adding that condom use remained low especially among key populations such as multiple concurrent partnerships, sex workers and discordant couples.
Meanwhile, National AIDS Council director general Dr Clement Chella said condoms, both male and female, were currently the only available and most effective technology to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
This is the first time the Global Female Condom Day is being commemorated in Zambia.