Turkish AIDS Prevention Materials Feature Singing Condoms
The Turkish Ministry of Health has produced a new booklet on AIDS prevention that diverges from the "dry, factual" style to adopt a "lighthearted" approach that incorporates Shakespeare's writing and posters of singing condoms, the Associated Press reports. A recent study by Hacettepe University in Ankara found that only 14% of Turks use condoms, and sex education was introduced in public schools only last year. Some Islamic groups have opposed educating young people about sex and contraception, and the subject of sex and condoms is "taboo" in many rural areas. To combat the "serious information gap" about safe sex, the Turkish health ministry and UNICEF have created a handbook on AIDS and condoms that will be distributed for free to young people in universities, cafes and cinemas. The book, titled "Never Without My Guardian Angel," uses Shakespeare and folk songs to convey messages about condoms. "It's a new approach. We're trying to address young people in a jokey style that they will identify with," Dr. Unal Ertugrul of the health ministry's sexually transmitted diseases department said. As of June, Turkey had 1,200 reported cases of AIDS. Officials say that many Turkish men contract HIV through sex with prostitutes (Holland, Associated Press, 11/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.