Seattle – Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW) is excited to announce its new website www.WhereDidYouWearIt.com
, dedicated to promoting safe sex and normalizing condom use.
Last week as part of National Condom Week, PPGNW distributed 55,000 condoms to community colleges and universities and to all its health centers throughout western Washington. The condoms include a QR code -- a barcode that can be scanned by smart phones and connects users to a mobile website. Similar to other geo-location services like Foursquare or Facebook Places, the site allows someone to anonymously “check-in” their safe sex activity. Where Did You Wear It targets college students and millennials, already comfortable with social media to promote healthy sexuality and to be “proud to wear protection.”
The check-ins show up on a map on the website that is searchable by gender, orientation, approximate age, location, and other filters. In the past week the response has been incredible. Check-ins have come in from 48 out of 50 states and from six continents! The site also offers information on how to use a condom correctly, a list of nearby Planned Parenthood health centers where condoms are available, and links to the condom page on plannedparenthood.org.
“Condoms are an essential tool in preventing unintended pregnancy and stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV,” said Nathan Engebretson, PPGNW New Media Coordinator. “We hope the site promotes discussions within relationships about condoms and helps to remove perceived stigmas that some people may have about condom use. Where Did You Wear It attempts to create some fun around making responsible decisions,” said Engebretson.
At Planned Parenthood we know that significant barriers still exist in creating the transformational behavior change necessary for a reduction in unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates. Obviously, increasing condom use is only one part of a larger sexual health and education equation. Even if someone has access to condoms, and knows how to properly use them with a partner, she or he may still choose not to.
Where Did You Wear It attempts to normalize condom use by showing just how common and enjoyable using protection can be. As the tagline proclaims, “Safe Sex Happens. Be Proud to Wear Protection!” The map is intended to provide a visual representation that safe sex happens. “Planned Parenthood wants users to be part of the solution and to be smart, sexy and responsible -- not just during National Condom Week – but every week,” added Engebretson.
Quick facts about condom use, birth control and STI prevention:
· One in two sexually active young people will get an STI by age 25 – most won’t know it.
· Condoms used correctly and consistently provide the best protection against sexually transmitted infections for sexually active women and men. They also protect against unintended pregnancy.
· Some STIs are asymptomatic and can cause infertility if not treated.
· Every year, there are approximately 15 million new cases of STIs.
· More than 65 million people in the US are living with a chronic STI such as herpes or HPV.
Campuses receiving QR coded condoms include:
Edmonds Community College
Everett Community College
Green River Community College
Highline Community College
Pacific Lutheran University
Pierce College – Puyallup
Tacoma Community College
The Evergreen State College
University of Puget Sound
University of Washington – Bothell Campus
University of Washington – Seattle Campus
University of Washington – Tacoma Campus