Entries in Safe Sex (3)


Condom Codes Let Users ‘Check In’ to Safe Sex

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest(NEW YORK) -- Call it the digital version of a tie on the doorknob. A new website lets the tech savvy tell the world when (and where) they’re having safe sex.

To celebrate National Condom Week (Feb. 14 to Feb. 21), Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest dispersed 55,000 condoms at community colleges and universities in western Washington. Each condom wrapper had a sticker with a QR barcode, which could be scanned with a smartphone to check in to to  let people know they’re having safe sex.

“ is like Foursquare for people who don’t want a sexually transmitted infection,” PPGNW said on its website.

Visitors to the site can spill the details of their latest sexual encounters -- anonymously -- providing their gender, sexual orientation, age and location at the time of their tryst.  The location can be a street address, or get somewhat juicier with such details as "Kitchen," "the Great Outdoors” or “In a hot tub.”  Visitors can also note whether they’ve talked with their partners about condom use and STDs.

The site’s interactive map keeps exact locations somewhat hidden, marking a check-in within three or four blocks of the actual location.

According to the site’s map, the condoms have already traveled from coast to coast and to six continents.

Nathan Engebretson, PPGNW’s new media coordinator, said the site has already had 65,000 visitors and 4,500 check-ins, with 20 percent of the traffic coming from mobile devices.

While the project may seem to be just another social media example of TMI, Engebretson said the point was to get people talking about safe sex, and to “normalize” and celebrate condom use.

“This isn’t about bragging. It’s not about digital notches in your bedpost,” Engebretson told ABC News. “Even if people have no desire to check in, they’re still getting the sense of how many people like them use condoms.”

PPGNW’s target audience was college students and 20-somethings, a group more likely to use social media -- and condoms. A 2010 study from sexual health researchers at Indiana University found that U.S. teenagers and young adults were more likely to use condoms during sex than Americans over age 40.

But Engebretson said PPGNW wants to know more about what makes people use condoms, or not. He said the next phase of the project would be to analyze the data from various groups and tailor a marketing campaign to work more condoms into sex for those people.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boyfriends' Money Affects Teen Girls' Condom Use

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- Teen girls whose primary source of spending money comes from their boyfriends are less likely to use condoms, according to a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine obtained data from an HIV prevention study that included 715 African-American teen girls in the Atlanta area.

Almost a quarter of the females, ages 15 to 22, attending family-planning centers said their primary source of spending money was from their boyfriends, rather than from their parents, grandmothers or jobs.  The teens were 10 percent more likely not to have used condoms in the previous 60 days.

Few girls reported using other methods of contraception, researchers said. Also, girls whose boyfriends owned cars were also about 50 percent more likely not to use condoms than those whose boyfriends did not own cars.

"After matching the groups on over 75 characteristics, the teens whose primary source of spending money was their boyfriend were still 50 percent more likely not to use condoms, and they were less likely to respond to the HIV prevention intervention," said Janet Rosenbaum, lead author of the study and research faculty at the Maryland Population Research Center in College Park.

Women with less relationship bargaining power -- and hence limited ability to insist on safe sex -- are particularly at risk of condom non-use, the authors wrote.

In a way, these girls are trading unsafe sex for money, Rosenbaum said, even though most of them reported being in long-term and monogamous relationships.

"Medical interventions alone will not cure or solve the problem of nonuse of condoms," said Dr. Paula Hillard, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford School of Medicine.  "We need societal changes and changes in the messages we provide to adolescent girls. ...We need to provide alternative messages about power and self-efficacy that will counter the tendency to succumb to coercive relationships and unsafe sex."

To counter these societal norms, Rosenbaum said clinicians must consider teens' economic circumstances when conducting safe sex interventions.

"Teens may act unwisely in order to meet their material needs and wants," Rosenbaum said.  "Interventions and clinicians may need to concentrate not just on safe sex behavior but also on helping teens to evaluate their needs versus wants."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


XXX: Condom Ordinance for Porn Industry?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It may soon be mandatory for porn stars to wear condoms on every pornography set in the city of Los Angeles, reports the LA Weekly.

City lawmakers drafted the law last week after a unanimous vote. The L.A. Attorney's Office will look into whether such an ordinance would be feasible to enforce, and if so, they are likely to allow a vote on the issue as early as next month.

A recent HIV scare in which an industry performer tested positive for the disease has renewed concerns in Los Angeles, the porn capital of the country. Just last December, a clinic that had monitored health in the industry for the past decade closed its doors, leaving the industry to more or less police itself.
Porn makers, however, have said that the ordinance would cause a drop in sales and ultimately push the industry out-of-state and underground, where performers would be less safe than before.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio