Q&A for World Aids Day

Durex says getting tested for HIV on a regular basis is part of the solution to combating AIDS.

World AIDS Day (photo credit: Courtesy)
World AIDS Day
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As Israel marked World AIDS day on Monday, The Jerusalem Post Premium Zone spoke with a Durex brand manager about the importance of raising awareness about HIV and AIDS. 
The interview followed the release of survey results, conducted by Durex leading up to World AIDS Day, whhich revealed surprising findings in connection with the regular use of condoms and the willingness to use them - for both men and women. The survey shows that 38 percent of Israel's population use condoms (variable frequency), and 56 percent do not use them at all. The sample comprised 248 Israelis aged 18-45.
In addition, the Health Ministry released statistics on Monday announcing that there are 6,454 AIDS patients living in Israel, with 476 additional cases reported in 2013.
Why is World AIDS Day important?
World AIDS Day takes place on December 1 every year world-wide and is important as it is a day dedicated to raising awareness of HIV and AIDS.
What are you hoping to achieve through increased awareness of AIDS?
As a leading brand in the sexual well-being category, Durex finds it is very important to raise awareness of AIDS and HIV in order to prevent their expansion. It is crucial for us to educate people and give them all the relevant information about how to protect themselves and have safe sex. It only takes a condom to keep you safe!
What does Durex do to help raise awareness?
We are collaborating with Israel Aids Task Force (IATF) and fund lectures about safe sex and protection, offering information about how sexual diseases are contracted and how people can get tested for HIV even anonymously.  IATF are also dealing with the stigma that exists against those who have already contracted HIV. It is equally important to make sure that their rights are being respected.
How can individuals make a difference to help the cause?
Everybody can help. If this is by taking your own responsibility and having safe sex, or by getting tested for HIV prior to having sex without a condom, or by assisting with fighting the stigma against people living with HIV. Everyone can volunteer in places like Israel Aids Task Force or even sharing and spreading messages about having safe sex.
What is the way forward for Israel in combating AIDS?
Durex will continue the battle to raise awareness and strongly recommend that people use condoms. Getting tested on a regular basis is part of the solution and the more people do it the more chances they will discover it on time and receive the proper treatment.
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich contributed to this report.