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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

OHIO: Gay, Lesbian and Straight Alliance Encourages Students


The Cauldron (Cleveland State University) (02.22.10) -

Marking National Condom Week, members of the GLASA at CSU recently partnered with Planned Parenthood for an STD awareness event that saw almost 1,000 condoms distributed to students. During the outreach, GLASA volunteers staffed a table where students were asked to try their hand at putting a condom on a model penis.

"When people are having sex, we want them to be doing it safely whether they're using male condoms, female condoms or a dental dam," said Mark Szabo, a volunteer. "We also want to teach them how to properly put on a condom. Some people think they know how to do it, but when they come to the table, they show us the incorrect method. We show them the correct method." GLASA members also offered guidance on using dental dams and female condoms. Information from Planned Parenthood on abstinence and birth control was available as well. Volunteers actually ran out of condoms and ended the event earlier than planned.

The outreach used a large inflatable phallus and activists in penis costumes to attract attention, which was a bit much for some members of the CSU community.

"We used these methods to tone down the seriousness of the issue and to ensure that we got people's attention," Szabo said to one person who questioned the group's approach. "People are scared to talk about sex. We wanted to bring the subject out in the open, to make it more fun and less taboo."


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