Web Site and Game Convey Safe Sex Messages to Youth
An online Web site that features a "safe sex game" and information about protection from sexually transmitted diseases has conveyed safe sex information to "tens of thousands" of young people, the charity that created the site told XIV International AIDS Conference attendees in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Reuters Health reports. The site -- www.supershagland.com -- features a parody of Nintendo's video game Super Mario Brothers. In Super Shag Land, players go through an obstacle course collecting condoms and avoiding items such as alcohol. After completing the game, viewers can look at information about safe sex. According to K-Generation, the charity that developed the site, 125,000 people have accessed the Web page since it was launched on World AIDS Day in 2001. The report says that 50% of first-time users browsed the information on safe sex. Neil Almond, the founder of K-Generation, said that the online format conveys safe sex messages to young people who "weren't listening" to government-sponsored HIV prevention campaigns. "Only 12% of people who visit the site think that government education measures are working. They're not effective with young people. ... These results clearly show that the right medium can really help get safe sex messages to young people," Almond said (Reuters Health, 7/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.