Terrence Higgins Trust today launched Condom Week, which aims to increase condom usage in Black African (BA) communities and men who have sex with men (MSM), with an online ‘Fits Me Quiz’ that pairs takers with their perfect prophylactic.
Cary James, Terrence Higgins Trust, Head of Health Promotion, said:
“This week national organisations are going to be talking about sexual health which applies to every individual, in all communities.
“For our target communities, the ‘Fits Me’ tool shows people that one size condom doesn’t have to fit all and the right condom is out there for every man. Big, small, wide, narrow, there will be size which will not only fit, but increase sensation and pleasure.
“Of course, the serious fact behind Condom Week is underpinned by Sexual Health Week – that is, if your condom doesn’t fit, it is more likely to break or slip off, putting both partners at risk of STIs, HIV and risking pregnancy. That is the reality.”
The most recent STI figures published this summer from Public Health England (PHE) show there were 439,243 sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reported in England in 2014 and the under 25s are one of the most high risk groups. STIs have a high financial cost for testing and treatment: diagnoses of chlamydia alone cost the NHS £620m in 2011.
Condom Week is part of HIV Prevention England’s It Starts With Me campaign, which launched in April 2013, and is co-ordinated by Terrence Higgins Trust, funded by Public Health England. The campaign speaks frankly about the importance of HIV testing and using condoms. It Starts With Me aims to cut new HIV infections though condom promotion and the reduction of undiagnosed HIV infection through increased testing. ‘Test. Treat. Protect. Take Action’ run across the campaign as calls to action. It Starts With Me stresses the role of the individual responsibility we all have in stopping the spread of HIV.