Sydney monument covered in giant pink condom
Condoms don't tend to get the attention they deserve. Despite how useful they are in preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies, many people still elect not to wear one. In Australia, one group has gone to extreme lengths to make sure more people are aware of condoms and how to use them correctly.
The Aids Council of New South Wales (ACON) has set up an interesting stunt in the city of Sydney. The Hyde Park obelisk, a structure dating from 1857 that masks a sewage vent, has been covered by a giant pink condom in order to raise awareness of the dangers of HIV in the city's gay community.
To go along with this stunt, bags of free condoms have been handed out. Each one is emblazoned with the message "Test more + treat early + stay safe = ending HIV". The XL condom is designed to help tackle the increasing number of people in New South Wales who are having sex without using protection.
“It’s another way of showing how critical it is to maintain the safe-sex culture in Sydney,” said Yves Calmette, a representative from ACON.
However, the structure was not without its critics. Wendy Francis, the Australian Christian Lobby’s spokeswoman on outdoor advertising, spoke to the Guardian about the condom-covered structure. She maintained that it was not appropriate to show the condom in public.
"The message on the condom is to stay safe, but our children aren’t safe from sexual messages anywhere these days. This is a park, children need to be able to retain their innocence," she said.
It seems many people would disagree with Ms Francis. Raising awareness about safe sex is usually seen as a good thing, and if children are exposed to sexual messages it is generally thought of as better if they teach them about safety.
Whether you agree with the condom-covered obelisk or not, you can't deny that it is eye-catching. Hopefully, it will have an impact on the number of people having safe sex in Sydney.