Sunday, April 1

Free condoms for the students!

For the first time in Ijevan, the local Red Cross has offered free condoms for the students. We put more than 100 condoms on the table when we had a mini seminar at the Youth Centre in town, and they were all gone after the meeting. :)
Having an open meeting is not often happening in Ijevan, especially not for young people. We had put posters in the University and the few colleges in town, and also invited several students personally, but when the meeting was supposed to start at 15 o’clock, very few had showed up. Being on time is another challenge in Armenia… But instead of waiting and just hoping that more people would show up, we decided to try to recruit people from the classrooms and street.

Since the Youth Centre is located in the same building as the University, this task was fruitful. 40 minutes on “overtime” we could start the meeting with a bit more than 30 participants. I was hoping for some 10 more, but the participants were quite active, and gave positive response after the meeting, so it turned out good after all.

The RC volunteers and I had divided the responsibilities beforehand; Hermine said welcome, David talked about hiv/aids and STIs, Gorgen had the transmission game and the quiz, Lusine had the Agree-Disagree game (discussions about sex before marriage, hiv, condoms, prostitution and stigma).
And I was in charge of handing out the prizes: Norwegian Melkesjokolade and Norwegian condoms and buttons!!

We have the transmission game to illustrate how fast Chlamydia can be transmitted and that having unprotected sex concerns more people than just you and your partner. This is the core of the game:

All the participants get a pen and a piece of paper with the numbers 1, 2, and 3 on it. They are supposed to mingle with the rest of the participants and shake hands with three of them. Then they write down the names of the people they meet and get back to their seats. When every body was seated, Gorgen told that yesterday there was a big party with a lot of food, drinks, music and some unprotected sex…

The names on their papers were who they had sex with. One of the participants (Nareg) had a C on the back of the note, which illustrates that he had Chlamydia before coming to the party. He therefore had to rise and read the names on his list. They where transmitted with Chlamydia by him and they also had to rise. Then they read the names on their list, and they all had to rise and so it went on to all the participants were standing. All but one: Me. I had the note with zero on the back side, and I was supposed to mingle, but say “No thank you” when people wanted to shake my hand. And I never shoke their hands. I did this to illustrate that I did not have sex during the party, and I was therefore also not transmitted.
Two of the participants had an umbrella on their papers, they used protection. We congratulated them and told them that they did not have Chlamydia!! :)

Of course this game is a bit over the top (and more than that!), but it illustrates the importance of using condoms. Because if not, you and several others can have Chlamydia the next day!

As some 20 000 Norwegians get every year…


Anonymous Cross Dressing said...

This is a wonderful way to teach students about STDs and being safe when it comes to sex.

1:12 AM  

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