While shopping for the perfect formal wear and prepping for the big day, local youth and parents will find a new type of apparel this year – outfits made of condoms. The latest campaign from the Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, features locally-designed condom formal wear on display at area stores, boutiques, salons and barbershops, just in time for prom season.
“Youth need access to complete and medically-accurate information in order to make informed decisions about their sexual health,” said Brenda J. Council, Adolescent Health Project Manager of the Women’s Fund of Omaha. “Open, honest conversations with parents and caregivers about sexuality help youth delay sex until they are ready. It is our hope that the condom outfits will spark conversations.”
Joined by sexual health and education community partners, the Adolescent Health Project launched the campaign at Alliance Barber Shop & Supply (2611 St. Mary’s Avenue). Additional condom outfits can be viewed at Cinderella Dress Outlet (inside Crossroads Mall), Curb Appeal Salon (518 South 10th Street), Hello Holiday (5008 Underwood Avenue), McLovin (1012 Howard Street) and Parlour 1887 (6068 Maple Street). Each outfit features the message, “Safe never goes out of style” and directs people online to SexFactsOmaha.com to find information about access to contraception as well as more than 120 locations to find free condoms.
In Nebraska, 32 percent of high school youth are sexually active with 60 percent reporting that they have engaged in sexual activity by the time they graduate. Youth need support and information for delaying sex as well as access to condoms and contraceptives. Condoms, if used consistently and correctly, can greatly reduce the risk of both unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), of which Douglas County has some of the highest rates.
Evidence clearly shows that contraception is driving the long-term decline in U.S. teen pregnancies. Highly effective long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods, also known as LARC, have the potential to help even more adolescents avoid an unplanned pregnancy.
This campaign is part of multi-year series of engaging and provocative youth-oriented public service campaigns, produced by the Adolescent Health Project and the Women’s Fund of Omaha, in partnership with Serve Marketing, a volunteer non-profit ad agency.
Information about access to no-cost birth control, free condoms and tips for parents on having sexual health conversations is available online at www.SexFactsOmaha.com. For additional information and ongoing conversations, follow the Sex Facts Omaha Facebook page and @SexFactsOmaha on Twitter.