For many years, the term “unprotected sex” has been synonymous with “sex without a condom,” and we’ve been told that the only real way for sexually active individuals to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, is to use a condom every time during sex.
Though we know everyone hasn’t followed this advice, the idea became so ingrained in our conversations about safer sex that it was clear protected sex equaled sex with a condom, while unprotected sex equaled sex without one. Some HIV advocates argue, however, that in this day and age of HIV treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and behavior changes that can decrease risk, this language is no longer accurate or precise. To that end, in December, a group of advocates, spearheaded by the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting a terminology change.
In January, the CDC announced on a call with more than 80 advocates that it would indeed change the decades-old language. Now, instead of referring to “unprotected sex” to mean sex without a condom, the CDC will refer simply refer to it as “condomless sex.”
Via Advocates for Youth:
The Great American Condom Campaign, a project of Advocates for Youth, is a youth-led grassroots movement to reduce unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by normalizing condom use on college and university campuses. Students from across the country apply to become individual condom distribution points—AKA SafeSites— and upon selection receive a box of 500 Trojan condoms to distribute to their peers. SafeSites are also tasked with educating their peers about safer sex and advocating on campus and within their community for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.
This past fall, 1,400 SafeSites distributed more than 700,000 condoms to students on 946 campuses. SafeSites were established in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Sound like fun? Apply for the GACC NOW!
We receive way more applications than we can accept, so make sure your application stands out! Be clear about how you will distribute condoms and why you want to be part of the GACC. To learn more about the GACC and the awesome work of previous SafeSites, go to the GACC Facebook page.
Applications to be a Spring Semester SafeSite are open through December 31st, 2013. It only takes 10 minutes to fill out an application, so start now!
As I’ve written about fairly extensively on this blog, I use the Mirena as my primary birth control method. Why did I choose this method instead of condoms? Well, I am in a long-term monogamous relationship so I am not worried about STIs- plus IUDs are the most effective form of contraception available.
Are you thinking about ditching condoms? Here are a couple of things to consider first:
Why yes I do!!
First up is the Great American Condom Campaign from Amplify Your Voice. Every year, college campuses across the country apply for the program and receive a ton of free condoms to pass out on their campus. Unfortunately, you’ve already missed the fall deadline but they will be opening again in December for next semester’s SafeSites. I personally applied to and received condoms through this program for over a year, so I can vouch for how amazing it is!
Next up is Love Condoms, which is an organization from which you can get up to 1,000 condoms of for just the cost of shipping ($18 for the biggest pack). I haven’t personally dealt with the organization, but I have picked up some of their condoms from various conferences and organizations and they appear to be of high quality.
Finally, don’t underestimate your local Planned Parenthood! Contact your local clinic through the previously provided link and let them know you are in need of large amounts of condoms. They provide them to student organizations for these purposes all of the time, and they likely are already doing so for an organization on your campus. If they aren’t, now is a great time to make that connection!