Obviously, there’s not enough blood in your body to achieve an erection that large. But folks in Sydney were greeted with the image over the past week thanks to an HIV awareness campaign which placed a giant condom over a landmark obelisk in the center of the city.
The beautiful pink color of this condom reminds me of our world famous Crown Skinless Skin, which is favored by many adult film companies for STD prevention. The message, and the point of the installation, was pretty clearly written down the side of the massive dong:
‘”Test more + treat early + stay safe = ending HIV.”
The condom was erected by, AIDS Council of New South Wales, a group that specializes in HIV awareness and prevention, and LGBTQI health. ACON is one of the premiere HIV care and prevention groups in Australia, specializing in helping folks who have been diagnosed, or are at serious risk of getting a positive diagnosis, get the care they need to stay healthy.
This installation was the finale of three weeks of public campaigning which took place in Sydney. Safe sex ambassadors were on site to hand out information to those who came to see the exhibit and other passerbys on how smart condom use can put a halt to HIV transmission by 2020.
Of course, there were those who complained about the condom’s presence, which was not made of latex nor FDA-approved, stating that it was inappropriately placed somewhere where children could see it. But isn’t this message just as important for children to hear?
We’re totally cool with, “Don’t drink and drive,” messages on our airwaves, billboards, in our magazines and television commercials, even though driving is not an activity children partake in. We want to condition them to never consider drinking and driving a safe choice. So why not do the same with condoms and safe sex?
A giant condom isn’t going to encourage kids to have sex. If they’re going to do it, they’re going to do it on their own. Instead, this installation is going to encourage them to have safe sex by making the condom/sex association a commonplace thing. Japan recently tried a similar method with their condom cookbook, which followed in the highly successful footprints of Thailand’s condom-themed restaurant, Condoms and Cabbages.
Sadly, the giant condom was removed on the following Wednesday. We can only hope for more awareness-centric art installations in the future– and more open-minded reactions to them.