– Release date: 25 November 2002
The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has teamed up with Durex to take the safer sex message to universities and institutes of technology across Ireland.
With latest statistics showing a dramatic increase in cases of sexually transmitted infections, leading Irish universities and institutes of technology will be giving out more than 20,000 Durex condoms as part of a series of events.
With over 100 years of combined professional experience in promoting sexual health, the campaign will also provide students with a range of information resources.
The three-month initiative is taking place at University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology and Maynooth NUI.
According to The National Disease Surveillance Centre, Ireland has seen a steady rise in infection rates each year since 1994. Cases of chlamydia increased 50 per cent and gonorrhoea increased more than 100 per cent between 1999 and 2000.
Karen Griffin, of IFPA, said: "Young people should be able to enjoy fulfilling and healthy sexual relations. It is the IFPA's primary intention with this campaign, to support them by offering the support, choice and information necessary to make well informed decisions.
This venture is part of a sustained campaign by the IFPA to highlight the need for specific health services for young people. Services which young people would be comfortable and confident in accessing and which would provide confidential, non-judgemental family planning and counselling services. In addition, we are seeking the provision of free access to contraception for the under-25s."
Kirsty Verity, of Durex, said: "It's no longer effective to preach to young people about the benefits of practising safer sex, we need to find a new way to get the message through.
"This campaign is about delivering the safer sex message in a way that we feel connects with our audience, by handing out free condoms to students at a time in their lives where inhibitions can sometimes be forgotten, we are reminding them to look after themselves and their partner."
Seamus Ó'Maonaigh, Welfare Officer of University College Dublin, added: "The image of the impoverished student is not an empty stereotype and the fact is the cost of a doctor's appointment and contraception is a real issue for students. This joint venture with the IFPA and Durex will be invaluable in raising awareness among Irish students of the importance of practicing safer sex and sexual health awareness."