'Centre for HIV Going for Gold in 'Condom-athon'
The Centre for HIV and Sexual Health has brought the spirit of the London Olympics to Sheffield to improve sexual health.
The NHS service, part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, is experiencing their very own Olympic legacy with increased public interest thanks to their new gold medal condom giveaways.
The Centre, which provides free condoms and sexual health information and advice throughout the city by hosting stalls at festivals, has seen a huge increase in people engaging with their outreach workers following the introduction of ‘Sexual Health Champion’ medals.
Sexual Health worker Eve Joseph said; “We are encouraging festival goers to become Sexual Health Champions by taking part in a simple sexual health quiz before being awarded a condom in packaging shaped like an Olympic gold medal. We have never seen as much interest in our sexual health stall before. Normally people walk past, too embarrassed to engage with us but since we have been offering the Olympic gold medal condoms, in exchange for taking part in our quiz, we have been inundated. We have had more conversations with people about safer sex than I have ever known before.”
Steve Slack, Director of the Sexual Health Promotion Unit said, “We have always known that we have to make our safer sex messages about condom use fun and engaging, but the interest in Olympic gold medal condoms has taken us all by surprise. People don’t want to feel criticised or lectured about their sexual health choices and are clearly happier to be considered ‘sexual health champions’. We are hoping that this is one unexpected legacy of London 2012 which will lead to long term improvements in the sexual health of the city – that way we are all winners.”
Sheffield’s integrated sexual health services, and partner agencies will be taking to the streets of Sheffield on Saturday, September 8th, with a stall in Barkers Pool from 10.00am to 5.00 pm. Members of the public will be able to take the simple sexual health quiz and have their own chance of going for gold!