Observing World AIDS Day, 2022, Mankind Pharma Limited’s brand Manforce Condoms, has launched an initiative #MakeADifferenceWithManforce to create awareness around asymptomatic HIV infection. The objective of the campaign is to increase public awareness about the asymptomatic stage of HIV, which can take years to develop into AIDS, and in which case, people usually neglect the symptoms.
Through this initiative, Manforce intends to make people aware about AIDS and mindful when it comes to physical relationships. As per statistics available, in India, 23% of estimated People Living with HIV (PLHIV) have no idea that they are infected. Standing by the cause of fighting HIV, the brand has partnered with an NGO, SAATHII that supports and cares for PLHIV by increasing their access to clinical counselling, social and legal protection services in order to improve the quality of life of PLHIV. Through this association, Manforce Condoms aims to sponsor nutritional support for pregnant women living with HIV.
On the initiative, Mr. Rajeev Juneja, MD & Vice-Chairman, Mankind Pharma Limited, said, “More than the disease, ignorance is the major enemy of an ailment. Look at your surroundings, and you will notice that people seem to not have adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS. In India, the majority of people seem to be unaware of the perils of asymptomatic HIV. Many may not even know that there is an ‘Asymptomatic’ stage. We wanted to initiate conversation amongst the masses, and encourage them to use condoms as protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Therefore, we came up with an initiative that we believe reinforces the importance of getting tested and using condoms to curb the transmission of HIV”.
Commenting on the association, Dr A. Sathish Kumar, Country Director, SAATHII, said, “We see a gradual decline in new HIV infections over time. This has to be fast-tracked to achieve our country’s goal of eliminating new HIV infections in the near future. This is possible with more awareness on safer sexual practices, such as using condoms correctly and consistently. Given the longer asymptomatic phase of HIV infection, this initiative aims to inform everyone that getting tested is the only way to know their HIV status, and by providing care, support and ART treatment, PLHIV can lead a normal life. We also believe that, along with HIV/STI prevention, awareness about condoms as a contraceptive can go a long way in preventing unwanted pregnancies”.
To drive the message amongst the masses, the communication was made live across social media platforms. Manforce Condoms came out with a video capturing the reactions of the people who lacked knowledge about the transmission of the disease. The video ends with a shout out to people to get themselves tested and stop the spread of HIV. To make people aware of the impact, real stories of PLHIV were also covered.