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Swedes launch youth condom drive

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 10 May 2010, 09:00

Published: 10 May 2010 09:00 GMT+02:00

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Every fourth man aged 20-24 would rather run the risk of infection than decline sex in the absence of a condom, according to a new Youth Barometer (Ungdomsbarometern) survey conducted by the council together with the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

40,000 people contracted chlamydia and around 500 HIV, prompting the launch of the new campaign to encourage condom use and increase knowledge.

"Sex is for the most part a pleasurable and positive part of life. But condoms must become a matter of course with new and casual sexual encounters. The alternative is that you risk your health, and that of your partner," the public health minister, Maria Larsson and Christer G Wennerholm, chairperson of the National Council for Coordination of HIV Prevention, in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Monday.

Young people in Sweden have a generally positive attitude to the use of condoms, the survey shows, but many don't use them themselves, with a third of 20-24-year-olds never doing so.

The survey, which interviewed 4,714 people within the age group 15-24-years-old, shows that 75 percent of sexual intercourse in Sweden is conducted without a condom. Only 56 percent responded that a condom should be used with a new sexual partner.

Larsson and Wennerholm argued that while it is commonly presumed that young Swedes are well informed about HIV and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the reality is very different.

"Currently only 60 percent of young people can answer correctly in response to basic questions concerning how HIV is transmitted," the pair wrote.

The new campaign will focus on behaviour and will feature an interactive site called Knullträdet (literally: the fuck tree) reminding people that when they have sex with a new partner they also have sex with all of their ex-partners.

Story continues below…

The site will enable users to chart their sexual history and establish how many people that are actually in their sexual tree.

"One case of HIV is one case too many regardless of who you have sex with. We have the knowledge, we now have to start to work with attitudes," Christer G Wennerholm said in a statement on Monday.

Related links:

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:10 May 10, 2010 by Pacey
Are they giving out Flavored XL types then I am interested otherwise my girlfriend doesnt like the cheap plastic!!
09:15 May 10, 2010 by peropaco
How about a national drive to encourage all the population to use condoms. I know people in their 30,40 and 50s in Sweden having multiple drunken weekend sexual partners without ever using a rubber.
09:59 May 10, 2010 by G Kin
Swedes are generally free spirited about sex, so no doubt thier youths aren't so conscious about using condoms.

HIV is generally persived as a black/african dieseas, so why should healthy swedes worry so much!

If anyone has been to sites like bodycontact.com, then you can understand what I mean. Especially homosexual men.

It amazing how sexually repressed people are in this country even if they look so clam and quiet on the outside.
10:29 May 10, 2010 by Lukestar1991
Lets encourage people to engage in sexual activity even more.

"Sex is for the most part a pleasurable and positive part of life."

Of course, there is also that matter of producing a child, but lets forget about that, as it doesnt seem that important. Its not like is the main function of 'sex'.
13:42 May 10, 2010 by zircon
My wife is not allowed to move when we're having sex. Not shaken, not stirred, you know is always the best way to prevent her from conceiving. Hahaha... Just kidding.
04:25 May 11, 2010 by repat_xpat
Great idea! Sweden needs a population boost. We created one of our children while using government issue condoms. It should work well for Sweden too.
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