German Condom Manufacturer to Pay British College Students to Test Condoms
German condom manufacturer Condomi is set to begin enrolling British college students in a study to determine why people "don't like using" condoms even at a time when HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are "spreading quickly," the New York Times reports. Condomi, whose target consumers are ages 16 to 35, plans to pay approximately 150 students, both heterosexual and homosexual, approximately $150 per semester for three semesters to use their condoms and report on their "ease of use and pleasure." Victoria Wells, British marketing manager for Condomi, said, "We are trying to find out why people don't like using condoms and, in the process, promote safer sex and a reduction in unplanned pregnancies." According to Wells, 150 students have already responded to the advertisements asking, "[W]ant to get paid to have sex?" Condomi, which currently provides 10% to 15% of the 160 million condoms sold in England each year, also hopes to improve its share in the market. Officials at condom manufacturer Durex "sniffed" at Condomi's study, saying that they test their products on people but do not publicize the process (Cowell, New York Times, 10/25).
Unprotected Sex Among College Students
In related news, the Denver Post last week reported on the results of a recent online poll that found that many U.S. young adults do not use condoms when engaging in sexual intercourse. The poll, conducted by CollegeClub.com, a Web site that provides free e-mail accounts as well as information about health, relationships and academics, found that more than half of U.S. college students reported having unprotected sex during the last year; 78% of respondents reported that they had "no problem" having sex without being in a relationship. "The AIDS epidemic no longer seems top of mind for many college-aged men and women," Jim Styn, community manager of CollegeClub.com, said, adding, "No longer associating sex with STDs and possible death has created a more relaxed approach toward sex and contraception" (Jefferson, Denver Post, 10/24).