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Celebrating their Valentine’s Day Campaign, #LOVEISLOVE, Team Feministaa went to participate in the International Condom Day.
On 13 February, just one day ahead of Valentine’s Day, the AIDS Healthcare Federation in association with Impulse New Delhi, took the opportunity of the season of love, to organize the International Condom Day. Strategically choosing Dilli Haat (INA) as the venue, as the organizers claimed, ‘since it is an awareness concept, and Dilli Haat is one place where not just the youth but especially families visit’.
“When kids come and see, they’ll ask their parents. The aim is to facilitate a conversation,” said one of the organizers.
The slogan was – safe sex as a part and parcel of daily lifestyle.
The event was lined up with on-spot surprise highlights involving the visitors, photo-booths, pledge boards, HIV testing booths and performance by the band Rangreza.
However, despite the organizers providing free tickets, giveaways, condoms, and other merchandise, along with the MC hosting a continuous slur of engaging activities, the turn-out was comparatively less. Interestingly, it was mostly members of the LGBTQ community, and mostly male, who were more in number. When asked, a number of them said that they were members of AIDS awareness organizations and the fact that the organizer, Impulse, was an NGO that worked for the particular community, mostly being the reason.
Another interesting observation was the lack of women visitors, apart from the organizers and media representatives, nobody turned up voluntarily for the event.
“Safe sex is a joint responsibility and both (men and women) should be held accountable for it,” said, a male member of the LGBTQ community.
Another guy hinted at the lack of awareness. “Protection should not be restricted to a sexual minority group. There is also just too much emphasis on just men.”
An HIV Positive individual and a member of National Coalition of People living with HIV, highlighted how the rate of HIV is high in the LGBTQ community, and one of the most important steps is awareness, to talk about sex and the importance of condom, widely and openly, getting rid of the taboo attached.
“I personally wanted to see how many people talk about sex, condoms, and HIV, which is a taboo in our society. How people react to such things,” said a man when asked, why he choose to be here of all places today.
An elderly couple seen enthusiastically participating in the event said, “It is very important to openly discuss protection with the young generation.”
They both agreed with that, communication is the need and necessity.
Talking about awareness of the event, a guy said how very few people know about 13 February being International Condom day, and added “Being safe is being sexy”, it is rather the easiest way to save oneself from STI’s especially in an app-culture of romance.
After all ‘Love is love, but not unsafe’!